FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                           PRESS CONTACT:

February 25, 2015                                                                           Brenda Rangel 956.564.1527


PRESS RELEASE: Vela Announces Children’s Museum of Brownsville and Gladys Porter Zoo as Finalists for National Medal for Museum and Library Service


Brownsville, Texas – Today, U.S. Representative Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, announced that the Children’s Museum of Brownsville and the Gladys Porter Zoo are among the 30 finalists for the 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. U.S. Rep. Vela nominated both organizations for the medal.

“I congratulate the Children’s Museum of Brownsville and the Gladys Porter Zoo – two of the finest institutions of learning in South Texas – and wish them luck in the process,” U.S. Rep. Vela said. “Knowing these organizations, which serve a great need in our local community, are among the best in the country is welcoming news. In my book, they are winners already.”

For 21 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service to make a difference for individuals, families, and communities.??

“The 2015 National Medal finalists have made real and lasting contributions to their local communities through programs that engage and inspire the public,” said Maura Marx, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “These institutions serve as trusted providers of educational resources, skills development, and civic engagement. We salute these museums and libraries, which play a key role in shaping our future by providing boundless opportunities for lifelong learning.”??

IMLS is encouraging those who have visited finalist libraries and museums to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page. To Share Your Story, please visit


The 2015 finalists of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service are:



·       Brooklyn Public Library (Brooklyn, New York)

·       Cecil County Public Library (Elkton, Maryland)

·       Craig Public Library (Craig, Alaska)

·       Embudo Valley Library and Community Center  (Dixon,  New Mexico)

·       Illinois Fire Service Institute Library (Champaign, Illinois)

·       Los Angeles Public Library (Los Angeles, California)

·       Madison Public Library (Madison, Wisconsin)

·       Mid-Columbia Libraries (Kennewick, Washington)

·       Middle Country Public Library (Centereach, New York)

·       Phoenix Public Library (Phoenix, Arizona)

·       Terrebonne Parish Library System (Houma, Louisiana)

·       The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York, New York)

·       The Westport Library (Westport, Connecticut)

·       Tulsa City-County Library (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

·       University of North Texas Libraries' Portal to Texas History (Denton, Texas)



·       Amazement Square (Lynchburg, Virginia)

·       Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum (Tuckerton, New Jersey)

·       Chabot Space & Science Center (Oakland, California)

·       Children’s Museum of Brownsville (Brownsville, Texas)

·       The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (Amherst, Massachusetts)

·       Louisiana Children’s Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana)

·       Museum of Northern Arizona (Flagstaff, Arizona)

·       Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science (Miami, Florida)

·       Nantucket Historical Association (Nantucket, Massachusetts)

·       New York Hall of Science (Queens, New York)

·       Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

·       The Tech Museum of Innovation (San Jose, California)

·       The Strong (Rochester, New York)

·       Gladys Porter Zoo (Brownsville, Texas)

·       The Wild Center (Tupper Lake, New York)


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

To learn more about the 2015 National Medal finalists, visit


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