WASHINGTON (November 5, 2012) -- The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the Bootheel Youth Museum of Malden, Mo. is one of 10 recipients of this year's National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The nation's highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community, the National Medal celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities. The National Medal will be presented at a celebration in Washington, D.C. on November 14.
The Bootheel Youth Museum has a small staff but makes a big impact, hosting more than 30,000 visits annually. The museum entertains, educates, and inspires curiosity through 250 innovative exhibits with a main focus on science and mathematics. In addition, the Bootheel Youth Museum, along with its community partners and a team of AmeriCorps volunteers, offers low or no-cost science demonstrations to local schools as well as traveling exhibits that visit ten to 12 community fairs each year.
"Museums and libraries serve as community gathering places and centers for lifelong learning, and we are very proud to name the Bootheel Youth Museum one of this year's National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners," said Susan Hildreth, director, Institute of Museum and Library Services. "This year's National Medal recipients demonstrate the many ways libraries and museums build strong communities and provide opportunities for individual success. Innovative programs are teaching residents how to read late in life, inspiring children to dream, using technology to offer e-books on the go, bridging cultural differences, and more."
Bootheel Youth Museum Director Patsy Reublin, said, "We are thrilled to be receiving the National Medal from IMLS and being included in such a fine group of museums and libraries. To be recognized as one of the nation's best is an incredible honor. The award is confirmation that our efforts to meet our mission statement of fostering an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and an insatiable curiosity about life are being met. The award isn't just recognition for the museum but one that is shared with the people of the Missouri Bootheel; they made this dream a reality. The BYM may be located in a small rural community, but Southeast Missourians have big expectations and aspirations. It is our hope that we continue a tradition of excellence." During the November 14 celebration, 22-year-old Lauren Collins, a museum patron in her early years and now an active volunteer, will travel to Washington and share the impact the Bootheel Youth Museum has had on her life.
This year's honorees exemplify the nation's great diversity of libraries and museums and include a school library, county library systems, individual libraries, children's museums, an art museum, science centers, a park conservancy, and more, hailing from 10 different states. Medal winners are selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. For a complete list of 2012 recipients and to learn more about the 2012 National Medal winners, please visit www.imls.gov/medals.
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 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grantmaking, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit http://www.imls.gov/ or follow us on Twitter at @US_IMLS.
About Bootheel Youth Museum
The Bootheel Youth Museum is a not-for-profit educational institution, 501c3 organization, whose primary focus is to provide programs and exhibits in collaboration with schools, colleges, and the community organizations in the fields of math, science, natural resources, human relations, and the arts. If you are interested in learning more about the Bootheel Youth Museum or the National Medal for Museums and Library Service please call (573) 276-3600. The BYM is located at 700A North Douglass Street in Malden, Missouri.