Brooklyn Museum Receives National Honor

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has selected the Brooklyn Museum as one of only ten libraries and museums to receive the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

The Brooklyn Museum was founded in 1823 as an apprentices’ library and is now one of the largest art museums in the United States, with comprehensive collections that span millennia and encompass almost every culture, enhanced by a distinguished record of exhibitions, scholarship, and service to the public.

From its beginnings the Brooklyn Museum was envisioned as an institution designed to educate the people both of Brooklyn and the world–as a “museum of everything for everyone.” Today it continues to serve as a vital educational and community resource through programs including its nationally renowned Target First Saturdays program and comprehensive on-site educational activities. The Museum’s exhibitions and arts education programs are specifically designed to develop and extend the cultural and art historical themes of its comprehensive collection.

“We are extremely proud to be recognized by IMLS with its National Medal,” commented Arnold L. Lehman, Director of the Brooklyn Museum. “To be acknowledged by IMLS from among the many thousands of institutions in the United States is an exceptional tribute to the Museum Trustees, staff, volunteers, and supporters. We are grateful to IMLS for this extraordinary honor.”

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries for extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental, and social contributions. Recipients must demonstrate innovative approaches to public service and community outreach.

“Congratulations to the Brooklyn Museum on receiving the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The work you have done is an inspiration to libraries and museums throughout the nation,” said Susan Hildreth, IMLS Director. “With innovation, creativity, and a great deal of heart you have achieved an outstanding level of public service.”

The other institutions that will receive the IMLS medal this year are:

Weippe Public Library & Discovery Center, Weippe, ID
San Jose Public Library, San Jose, CA
Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH

EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia, SC
Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA
Madison Children’s Museum, Madison, WI
Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Collegeville, MN

IMLS is the primary source of federal funding for museums and libraries. The National Medal for Museum and Library Service was created to highlight the vital role these institutions play in American society. Recipients are selected by the director of IMLS following an open nomination process and based on the recommendations of the National Museum and Library Services Board.

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