Public Library, Museum Center Highlighted As Part of Award Celebration

Cincinnati home to two organizations recognized by Institute of Museum and Library Services

CINCINNATI – The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County and Cincinnati Museum Center will be highlighted as part of a campaign by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The Library and the Museum Center are among the 132 past award recipients. Cincinnati is fortunate to have two institutions recognized by the IMLS, speaking to the city’s dedication to educational outreach, the humanities and the future of its citizens.

National Medal for MuseumThe Public Library received the National Medal of Museum and Library Service during a White House ceremony last May and will be featured on the IMLS Facebook page (, Feb. 24. The Museum Center won the award in 2009 and will be highlighted on the IMLS Facebook page, Feb. 25. IMLS is encouraging local community members who have visited these medal winner institutions, including the Library and the Museum, to share their stories about how these institutions have made a difference in their lives.

The Library featured the award prominently in literature during its November levy campaign and was covered prominently by local news stations. The Library believes the award was a factor in the renewal of a 1 mill levy on November 5. Hamilton County voters approved the levy by an 80 percent margin, the highest percent in the State. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County was one of 27 libraries across Ohio to be on the ballot in November. All but one of these passed, but none reached the 80 percent threshold our Library achieved.

The Library used the $5,000 award to purchase several new early literacy workstations, which significantly impacted the Library’s ability to foster reading competency among its youngest customers and helped to fulfill a key part of its Strategic Plan. The Library has partnered with the Museum Center on several occasions to work on early literacy. In August, the Museum Center hosted the Kickoff Celebration for the Read On! Campaign. The Library is extending its commitment to the Read On! mission by developing a new Summer Learning series, which will debut in June. The Museum Center is also hosting the Read Across America event, Saturday, March 1, in partnership with the Library. The Library also has an outreach collection in the Museum Center’s Duke Energy Children’s Museum, where visitors to the Museum Center can read and check out books from the Library using their mobile devices.

Cincinnati Museum Center received the National Medal of Museum and Library Service during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in 2009. The award is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries that make “extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental and social contributions.” The Museum Center continues its commitment to those standards through programs, such as its sixth-annual Learning Through Play Conference on March 8 that brings together early childhood education experts for a day of workshops for teachers and parents.

The Museum Center also hosts daily and weekly programs that focus on early childhood literacy, such as Story Tree Time, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills through hands-on experiments guided by museum experts. Cincinnati Museum Center’s Youth Programs teaches STEM and life skills to over 100 youth, ages 13-18, each year, giving them unique opportunities by providing them access to experts and resources in the fields of science, history and early childhood education. Since 1998, 99 percent of Youth Programs graduates have continued on to a four-year college. Cincinnati Museum Center continues to be a center of learning and humanity, giving people of all backgrounds opportunities for employment, education and inspiration.

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