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The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced Monday that South Carolina Aquarium is among the 30 finalists for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to their communities. For 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

“The 30 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” said IMLS director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored to recognize these leading institutions. We congratulate them on the work they are doing across the United States.”

Finalists are chosen based on their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited the South Carolina Aquarium to share their story on social media. To share your story, please visit IMLS’ social media pages and use the hashtag #IMLSmedals.

The South Carolina Aquarium, located in Charleston SC, opened on May 19, 2000 on the historic Charleston Harbor. It is home to more than ten thousand plants and animals including North American River Otters, loggerhead sea turtles, great blue herons, alligators seahorses, jellyfish, puffer fish, eels, horseshoe crabs, sea stars, pythons, and sharks. The largest exhibit in the zoo is the Great Ocean Tank, which extends from the first to the third floor of the Aquarium and is the deepest tank in North America (42 feet); it holds more than 385,000 US gallons (1,460,000 l) of water and contains more than seven hundred animals.] The Aquarium also features a Touch Tank, where patrons may touch all types of marine animals.

Winners will be announced later this spring. Representatives from winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions at the National Medal Ceremony at the U.S. Botanic Garden on June 12 in Washington, D.C. (Credit: Moultrie News)

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