Congratulations to the Mississippi Children’s Museum (Jackson, Mississippi) for being named as one of six recipients of the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service! This award, which is bestowed by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), is considered the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums that make significant and exceptional contributions to their community.
“We are extremely honored and excited to be recognized as one of the six recipients (three museums and three libraries) in the country to receive the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, which is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries. This prestigious recognition of our efforts to improve outcomes for Mississippi’s children is a strong validation for the innovative efforts of our team and our community,” said Susan Garrard, the museum’s president.
The museum’s mission is to create unparalleled experiences to inspire excellence and a lifelong joy of learning and a goal to inspire Mississippi’s children from all backgrounds to discover and achieve their potential. First conceived in 1994, the museum opened its main facility in 2010; it will soon open a second facility in Meridian, Mississippi.
The Mississippi Children’s Museum joins two other museums—the High Desert Museum (Bend, Oregon) and Museo de Arte de Ponce (Ponce, Puerto Rico)—and three libraries—the Cabell County Public Library (West Virginia), Highwood Public Library (Illinois), and Memphis Public Libraries (Tennessee)—in receiving honors in 2021. These six institutions were selected from 30 national finalists—including five ASTC members—all of which provide dynamic programming and services that bring about change that touches the lives of individuals and helps communities thrive.
In a statement, IMLS Director Crosby Kemper said, “through their programs, services, and community relationships, these institutions exemplify the ongoing excellence of our nations’ museums and libraries across the country, as well as their extraordinary efforts this past year to serve, heal, and bring us together.”
The awards will be formally presented during a virtual event in July.
The Mississippi Children’s Museum joins a list of 23 ASTC-member institutions that have received the National Medal in its 25+ year history.
- “Six Museums and Libraries Selected for IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service,” IMLS news release, May 18, 2021.
- “The Mississippi Children’s Museum Recognized for Nation’s Highest Museum and Library Honor,” Mississippi Children’s Museum press release, May 18, 2021.
- “ASTC members named finalists for National Medal for Museum and Library Service,” ASTC blog, March 18, 2021.