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WASHINGTON (April 21, 2015) - The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the Louisiana Children's Museum of New Orleans, Louisiana, as one of 10 recipients of this year's 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 21 years, the award has celebrated institutions that present extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service to make a difference for individuals, families, and communities. The award will be presented at an event in Washington, D.C., on May 18.

The Louisiana Children's Museum offers 30,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and educational programs that encourage learning through play. Beyond its big blue doors, the Museum is working to build a stronger community by fostering the healthy development of children and strengthening the connections between the child and the family, and the child and the community. Louisiana Children's Museum community programs such as Play Power, Word Play, Literacy Pathways, Family Camp and Sensory Friendly Learning focus on early childhood development, resiliency building, family literacy, parenting and other critical life skills.

"These National Medal recipients have demonstrated a genuine understanding of their communities and are committed to addressing community needs," said Maura Marx, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. "IMLS believes museums and libraries are vital community anchors that enhance civic engagement, cultural and educational opportunities, and economic vitality. The remarkable community contributions these institutions have made are proof positive of this."

"We believe that it is our responsibility to be relevant to our community in a great variety of ways," said Julia Bland, CEO of the Louisiana Children's Museum. "The Louisiana Children's Museum's programs focus on the belief that all children are born full of potential. Offering opportunities and experiences for children to grow into their potential is extremely important."

Bland and a member of the community will travel to Washington and share the impact Louisiana Children's Museum has had on her life during the May 18 celebration.

These ten honorees exemplify the nation's great libraries and museums and demonstrate outstanding impact and quality of programs, services, and partnerships, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. They were selected from thirty finalists that were among institutions from across the country that were nominated for the honor.

After the ceremony, StoryCorps-a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans-will visit Louisiana Children's Museum to document stories from the community.

For a complete list of 2015 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal winners, please visit

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Louisiana Children's Museum
The Louisiana Children's Museum is the primary resource in the state of Louisiana developed specifically for young children and their families and open to the public. The Museum, located at 420 Julia Street in New Orleans' historic Warehouse District, offers 30,000 square feet of exhibit space and educational programs and promotes hands-on participatory learning for children of all ages. Encouraging discovery through observation, inquiry, creative construction, role-playing, problem-solving and free play, the Museum motivates children to develop their cognitive, physical and social skills while enjoying fruitful interaction with adults and peers. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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