Connecticut Museums and Libraries Among National Medal Finalists

Mar 6, 2014

Each year, the federal agency that supports libraries and museums recognizes 30 outstanding institutions for service to the community. This year, four finalists are in Connecticut. 

The Hartford Public Library has had extensive renovations and includes a popular cafe, The Kitchen
Credit Heather Brandon

They include the Otis Library in Norwich, the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, and Mystic Aquarium in Mystic.

Susan Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, or IMLS, said the Hartford Public Library has been nominated  for a National Medal three times, winning one in 2002.

"Particularly, they’ve done a lot of great work with and celebrating and educating the immigrant community in Hartford," Hildreth said. "Some of that work was supported from funding from IMLS through a national leadership grant. I also know they’ve done tremendous work in terms of workforce development in a community that is plagued with poverty."

The Otis Library Library in Norwich is a finalist for its success in reaching community members of all ages and filling the community center role after a local YMCA closed. The Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury is recognized for its long relationship with city schools and its 20-year tradition of collecting oral histories from Waterbury's African American and Jewish communities. Mystic Aquarium is noted for its formal and informal educational science programming.

National Medal winners will be announced in late April. Winners receive $5,000, and are recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.