NORMAN — The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History has been named a National Medal for Museum and Library Science finalist, museums officials said.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services salutes institutions annually that make significant differences for individuals, families and communities. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries.
“The Sam Noble museum is proud to be included in the company of such outstanding museums and libraries. The museum staff work hard every day for the people of Oklahoma, and it is good to have our efforts recognized at a national level,” museum Director Michael Mares said.
Thirty museums and libraries were named as medal finalists. Ten will be selected as medal winners. The winners are expected to be announced in late April.
Medal finalists are selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. Past winners have included the Boston Children’s Museum; the Columbus, Ohio, Museum of Art; the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Miss.; and the Discovery Science Museum in Santa Ana, Calif.
“Museums and libraries serve as civic gathering places, bringing together individuals in pursuit of educational resources, community connections, skills development and multifaceted lifelong learning,” said Susan Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
This year’s finalists include an aquarium, conservatory and botanical gardens, a university library, public libraries, children’s museums, art museums and science centers, Hildreth said.
This year’s National Medal finalists illustrate the many ways museums and libraries can excite lifelong learning and civic engagement, Hildreth said.
Finalists are chosen because of their significant and exceptional contributions to the communities, Hildreth said.
Community members are encouraged to share their experiences with the institutions that have been named finalists by going to www.facebook.com/USIMLS.