The nation's highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community, the National Medal celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families and communities.
The National Medal will be presented Wednesday at a celebration in Washington, D.C.
"Museums and libraries serve as community gathering places and centers for lifelong learning, and we are very proud to name the Bootheel Youth Museum one of this year's National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners," said Susan Hildreth, director of Institute of Museum and Library Services."
The Bootheel Youth Museum has a small staff but makes a big impact, hosting more than 30,000 visits annually.
The museum entertains, educates and inspires curiosity through 250 innovative exhibits with a main focus on science and mathematics. In addition, the Bootheel Youth Museum, along with its community partners and a team of AmeriCorps volunteers, offers low or no-cost science demonstrations to local schools as well as traveling exhibits that visit 10 to 12 community fairs each year.
"We are thrilled to be receiving the National Medal from IMLS and being included in such a fine group of museums and libraries," Bootheel Youth Museum director Patsy Reublin said. "To be recognized as one of the nation's best is an incredible honor. The award is confirmation that our efforts to meet our mission statement of fostering an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and an insatiable curiosity about life are being met.
"The award isn't just recognition for the museum but one that is shared with the people of the Missouri Bootheel; they made this dream a reality. The BYM may be located in a small rural community, but Southeast Missourians have big expectations and aspirations. It is our hope that we continue a tradition of excellence."