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May 21st, 2024
IMLS Selects Desert Museum and Copper Queen Library for Nation’s Highest Museum and Library Honor

WASHINGTON — Today,the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson Copper Queen Library (CQL) in Bisbee as two of the 10 recipients of the 2024 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07) nominated both the CQL and Desert Museum for the prestigious recognition.

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that demonstrate excellence in service to their communities. Since 1994, the award has honored 212 institutions that exemplified extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service. Over the past 30 years, the award has celebrated institutions that are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

“This award validates what we’ve known to be true: the 7th Congressional District of Arizona is home to world class museums and library services,” said Rep. Grijalva. “I congratulate the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Copper Queen Library on this well-deserved honor. I am proud to represent and support these beloved institutions that serve as critical gathering spaces for our community, repositories of knowledge, and cornerstones of learning in Southern Arizona.”

“We were already thrilled to learn that the Desert Museum was a finalist for the IMLS National Medal, but to actually win the award is an honor beyond compare! To receive such recognition is incredibly meaningful to our staff, Trustees, volunteers and other supporters, as it affirms that the Museum’s work matters to the communities we work within. This award inspires us to deepen and expand regional partnerships that will continue to increase accessibility, enhance mutual benefit, and achieve even greater mission impact in the years to come,” said Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Executive Director, Craig Ivanyi.

”We are honored and thrilled to bring the National Medal home to Bisbee,” said CQL Library Manager, Jason Macoviak. “We share this award with our patrons, volunteers, partners, and the entire Bisbee community who all work together to make the Copper Queen Library the vibrant and connected place it is today and worthy of such an honor.  We would like to thank Representative Raul Grijalva for nominating us and allowing us to share our library’s story with the rest of the world and to shine a light on the vital role that all small and rural libraries play in their communities across the country.”  

“IMLS is delighted to announce the ten recipients of the 2024 National Medal for Museum and Library Service,” said IMLS Acting Director Cyndee Landrum. “These institutions and their dedicated staff are stepping up to anticipate and meet the needs of their individual communities. From New York to Arizona, these ten recipients are unparalleled sources of education, health, jobs, and cultural resources, bridging the gaps of distance, resources, and experience for community members. We look forward to honoring their accomplishments in Washington, D.C. this summer!”

Selected from 30 national finalists, the 2024 National Medal for Museum and Library Service recipients represent institutions that provide dynamic programming and services that exceed expected levels of service. Through their community outreach, these institutions bring about change that touches the lives of individuals and helps communities thrive.  

The award will be presented at a ceremony this summer in Washington, DC. For a complete list of the 2024 recipients and to learn more about all of the National Medal winners, visit the IMLS website.

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