Michelle Obama Presented National Medal to Anythink Libraries

First Lady Michelle Obama presented a 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to Anythink libraries – one of five museums and five libraries that were honored in a White House ceremony on Friday, Dec.  17. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) gives the award to museums and libraries demonstrating commitment to public service through innovative programs and community partnerships. Anythink will also receive a $10,000 award in recognition of their extraordinary contributions and a visit from StoryCorps.

Each medal winner was asked to select one community member who could illustrate the institution’s impact through a personal story. Anythink director Pam Sandlian Smith and Rangeview Library District board president Kay Riddle were accompanied to the ceremony by longtime library user Donna Kelly. Kelly and her family frequently visit several Anythink locations, and Huron Street’s Tales to Tails program specifically had a profound impact on her son, giving him the confidence to read. The Tales to Tails program is based on a partnership between Anythink and the American Humane Association, matching reluctant readers with service dogs who listen as children read aloud their favorite stories. Through this program, Kelly’s son has developed into a voracious reader.

In addition to Rangeview Library District and its Anythink libraries, other recipients of the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service are:

  • Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Fishers, Ind.
  • Explora Science Center & Children’s Museum of Albuquerque, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Miss.
  • Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, N.Y.
  • Peter White Public Library, Marquette, Mich.
  • West Bloomfield Township Public Library, West Bloomfield, Mich.
  • Patchogue-Medford Library, Patchogue, N.Y.
  • Nashville Public Library, Nashville, Tenn.

Any individual may nominate a museum and/or library in the United States and its territories for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Members of the National Museum and Library Services Board, the Institute’s presidentially appointed policy advisory board, review the nominations and make recommendations to the Institute Director who selects the winners.  To view nomination information, please go to www.imls.gov/medals. The deadline for 2011 nominations is February 15, 2011.