Published: March 5, 2016 | Last Modified: March 5, 2016 01:30AM
By ZACHARY McKINNEY Special to The Sun
EXETER — The Tomaquag Museum is one of 30 finalists for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest award for museums and libraries.
“It’s a very big deal,” said Lorén Spears, the museum’s executive director. “Even just being a finalist gives us national exposure.”
The museum was nominated by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in August in recognition of its service to the community.
“Congratulations to the Tomaquag Museum!” said Whitehouse in a news release. “This institution does important work preserving and honoring Native American culture in Rhode Island. I was proud to nominate the museum and its dedicated staff for this prestigious award and I wish them the best of luck in the final selection.”
Fifteen museums and 15 libraries from across the country have been nominated for the medal, which is awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The institute is a federal organization that supports innovation in museum and library service via grants and other initiatives.
Museums and libraries are nominated on the basis of their involvement with their communities. Over a 30-day period, the institute will highlight one of the finalists every day, and the public can comment on the nominees. The Tomaquag Museum will get its turn on March 18.