Museum Receives Top Honor

The National Civil Rights Museum is among 10 institutions the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today as recipients of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Services, the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Over the past 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions that are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

Selected from 30 national finalists, the winners of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service are addressing unique issues and challenges confronting communities today through their programs and services. From Florida to Washington State and Tennessee to California, these 10 organizations demonstrate the many ways museums and libraries are meeting the needs of the people they serve.

“We are humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award. And we are ecstatic that the Institute for Museums and Library Services has acknowledged our outstanding MLK50 programming. It was tremendous work for the staff but truly a labor of love,” said Terri Lee Freeman, National Civil Rights Museum President.

The 2019 National Medal recipients are:

  • Jamestown S'Klallam Tribal Library (Sequim, WA)
  • Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • New Haven Free Public Library (New Haven, CT)
  • Gulfport Public Library (Gulfport, FL)
  • Meridian Library District (Meridian, ID)
  • Barona Band of Mission Indians - Barona Cultural Center and Museum (Lakeside, CA)
  • New Children's Museum (San Diego, CA)
  • Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, FL)
  • National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel (Memphis, TN)
  • South Carolina Aquarium (Charleston, SC)


“It’s a pleasure to recognize the 10 recipients of the National Medal of Museum and Library Services,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “Through their programs, services, and partnerships, these institutions exemplify the many ways that libraries and museums are positively transforming communities across the nation.”

The National Medal recipients will be presented with their awards at an event in Washington, DC, on June 12. To find out more about the 2019 winners, please visit the National Medals page.

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