The director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew presented the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to South Carolina Aquarium during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 12 .This is the 25th year the awards have been presented to museums and libraries in recognition of their outstanding and significant contributions to their communities.

“It’s an honor to recognize the 2019 recipients of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service and their extraordinary efforts in their communities,” said Dr. Kathryn “Kit” Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “Their achievements challenge all of us to identify new ways to address the question of community inclusion, equity, and involvement in each of our own communities all across the nation.”

Accepting the award were president and CEO Kevin Mills and community member Tammy Cannada, who shared how the museum or library has influenced their life. Senator Jack Reed (D) Rhode Island delivered the keynote address.

“IMLS is not the largest of federal agencies, but it reaches every community in America,” Reed said. “Every dollar we spend on libraries and museums is a dollar well-spent. It is indeed an investment.”

2019 National Medal winners

• Jamestown S'Klallam Tribal Library (Sequim, Wash.)

• Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

• New Haven Free Public Library (New Haven, Conn.)

• Gulfport Public Library (Gulfport, Fla.)

• Meridian Library District (Meridian, Idaho)

• Barona Band of Mission Indians - Barona Cultural Center and Museum (Lakeside, Calif.)

• New Children's Museum (San Diego, Calif.)

• Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, Fla.)

• National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel (Memphis, Tenn.)

• South Carolina Aquarium (Charleston)

Selected from 30 finalists, the 10 honorees epitomize the significant impact our nation’s libraries and museums have on their communities through programs, services, outreach and partnerships that go beyond what is expected.