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Nominations Now Open for IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Wisconsin Libraries for Everyone Blog is sharing this important announcement from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) that is now accepting nominations for the IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been so privileged to hear so many truly incredible stories about Wisconsin library workers continually going above and beyond to ensure their communities continued to have access to library materials, library programs, health information, workforce resources, government information, the internet, public-use computers, and the countless other services that libraries provide Wisconsin residents every single day. The Safer at Home order did not shut down library service in the state; it amplified the importance of library service, and the dedicated professionals who tirelessly serve their communities were there to step up and ensure those services continued seamlessly for library users. Library workers have stepped up to the many challenges presented in recent weeks and months, and have proven they are always a constant light in their communities. Without a doubt, every Wisconsin library is deserving of the prestigious honor of the IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service this year. We strongly encourage you to nominate a library that has risen to the challenge of the pandemic and promoted equity, diversity, and inclusion. Wisconsin libraries and library workers deserve to be recognized for their outstanding achievements and their tireless commitment to their communities.  

The following is the press release Nominations Now Open for IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service from IMLS. September 2, 2020.

Nominations Now Open for IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library ServiceIMLS National Medal
Submissions Accepted through November 2, 2020

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services is now accepting nominations for the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor awarded to libraries and museums for service to their communities.

“This year has presented many challenges for our country, and museums and libraries have found new and unique ways to support and provide services to their communities,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “As we acknowledge the enormous impact libraries and museums of all types and sizes have on their communities and the leadership they have shown, we are proud to re-institute the National Medals to recognize those institutions who show imagination and exceptional outreach, support, and collaboration with their communities and partner organizations.”

Anyone—an employee, a board member, a volunteer, a member of the public, or a government official—is invited to nominate an institution. Museums and libraries of most disciplines and types are eligible. Regardless of who nominates the library or museum, in order to be considered, the institution must complete the online nomination form by 11:59 pm ET on Monday, November 2, 2020.

The National Medals program recognizes outstanding libraries and museums of all types and sizes that deeply impact their communities by:

  • fostering a lifelong passion for learning for all people, nourishing curiosity and imagination from early childhood through adulthood, for people of all abilities and needs;
  • providing access to information through advancing digital capacity, focusing on digital inclusion and access to digital and informational resources, including e-books and materials to help address workforce development and public health;
  • transforming the lives of community members by being trusted community spaces for convening, connection, and conversation; enlightenment and shared thoughts and opinions; and preserving natural and cultural heritage and community memory;
  • continuing to engage their communities during the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic and enhanced focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, through providing information, programming, and services virtually, or taking innovative and imaginative steps toward continuing services and reopening their physical spaces.

For more information and a list of frequently asked questions, visit the Medals nomination page.

For a look back celebrating the last 25 years of National Medals, click here to watch the short video with StoryCorps. More information is also available on previous years’ Medal recipients via the IMLS website.

For questions, contact:

Museums: Mark Feitl,, 202-653-4635
Libraries: Laura McKenzie,, 202-653-4644
General Questions:

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter


For questions about this information, contact Michael Dennison (608) 266-5196

WI Libraries for Everyone

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