Franklin Institute among 10 to get national honor

The Franklin Institute is one of 10 winners of the 2008 National Medal for Museum and Library Services, a federal institute announced yesterday. The medal, the nation's highest honor for museums and libraries, will be presented by Laura Bush at a White House ceremony next Tuesday.

Each year, the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, in tandem with the White House, honors five museums and five libraries that have improved the quality of life in their communities. The winners receive $10,000 each.

The other winners are the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyo.; Gen. Lew Wallace Study and Museum, Crawfordsville, Ind.; Jane Stern Dorado Community Library Inc., Dorado, Puerto Rico; Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library; Lower East Side Tenement Museum, New York City; Miami-Dade Public Library System; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Skidompha Library, Damariscotta, Maine; and the Skokie (Ill.) Public Library.

The Franklin Institute was lauded for its Community Nights program, in which people may stay in the museum after hours for special educational programs as well as other outreach initiatives. - Bonnie L. Cook