December 17, 2010 Today, First Lady Michelle Obama presented the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to five museums and five libraries during an awards ceremony at the White House. Among the honorees: the Nashville Public Library.
According to a press release, “the National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries conferred annually by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to institutions that have demonstrated a long-term commitment to public service through innovative programs and community partnerships.” The award also carries an honorarium of $10,000.
NPL was singled out for its outreach to public schools and publicly funded preschools: “For at-risk children, the library uses its vast collection of marionettes to present the program Bringing Books to Life at local Head Start centers. Children are treated to a marionette-performed story time, and teachers and parents witness how information is retained when there is engagement and visual stimulation.”
Congressman Jim Cooper praised the choice of NPL: “Nashville deserves a great library and this award is proof we’ve got the best in the country. [NPL director] Donna Nicely and her team deserve tremendous credit for leading our library through tough times without compromising excellence.”