Orlando Science Center Recognized as a Finalist for 2019 IMLS National Medal

2019 Finalist National Medal for Museum & Library Service


This is OSC's Third Consecutive Nomination 

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today that Orlando Science Center is among the 30 finalists for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families and communities. Orlando Science Center was nominated for this award previously in 2017 and 2018.


“The 30 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored to recognize these leading institutions. We congratulate them on the work they are doing across the United States.”


Finalists are chosen because of their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. IMLS is encouraging community members who visited Orlando Science Center to share their story on social media. They can post on Orlando Science Center’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. In addition, people are encouraged to share on the Institute of Museum and Library Services' Facebook and Twitter pages or their own social media channels using #IMLSMedals.


“It is such an impressive group of finalists and we are so honored to be in the running for this prestigious award for the third year in a row,” said Orlando Science Center President and CEO JoAnn Newman. “This recognition reminds me that we all have such an important job ahead of us. Orlando Science Center, and all our peer museums and libraries must strive to create a welcoming environment that feeds a passion for knowing in our audience, no matter their age or their background or their interests.”


Orlando Science Center has made it a priority to develop relevant and impactful STEM-based opportunities that are accessible to every child regardless of ability, gender, race or socioeconomic status. This past year, they launched Catalyst, a new youth volunteer and professional development program and embarked on a partnership with the Zebra Coalition and Universal Orlando to develop an internship program that recruits from Gay-Straight alliances at local high schools. In addition, they offer annual family memberships for only $25 to low-income households, as well as partial and full scholarships for summer camps and afterschool programs. They also partnered with IMLS’s Museums for All Initiative to provide EBT cardholders admission for $3, in which they rank among the top 10% of programs nationwide by attendance.


National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. The representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C. to be honored at the National Medal award ceremony.


To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit the IMLS website.