Two Southern California institutions head to White House for honors

An Argentinosaurus awaits explorers at the Discovery Science Center's "Dino Quest" exhibit in Santa Ana.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Two Southern California cultural institutions will be honored at the White House on Wednesday.

The Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana and the Rancho Cucamonga Public Library are among the 10 institutions selected from among 33 finalists around the country to receive a 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service -- the nation’s highest honor for community service in those two fields.

First Lady Michelle Obama – along with representatives of the The Institute of Museum and Library Services – will present the awards.


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Members of the public from each recognized community will speak about how the institution being honored has affected them personally.

Other museums and libraries being honored are the Boston Children’s Museum; the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio; the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Miss.; the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; the Marshalltown Public Library in Marshalltown, Iowa; the Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, Wash.; the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in Cincinnati; and the Waukegan Public Library in Waukegan, Ill.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services supports some 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums nationwide through grant-making, policy development and research.

The Discovery Science Center displays over 100 interactive, hands-on exhibits with the mission of “educating young minds, assisting teachers and increasing public understanding of science, math and technology through interactive exhibits and programs.”

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“The National Medal shows that a museum’s impact can go beyond the walls of a single location and bring education to hundreds of thousands of students in classrooms along with satellite locations,” said Joe Adams, president of Discovery Science Center. “We see this award as a challenge to continue to teach through innovation extending past museum norms, finding partners that align to our mission, and connecting to young minds.”

At Rancho Cucamonga Public Library’s two locations, the Archibald Library and The Paul A. Biane Library at Victoria Gardens, it aims to “incorporate rich cultural programming while maintaining a strong focus on family and multi-generational involvement.”


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