The White House
Office of the First Lady
11:14 A.M. EST
MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. (Applause.) Good morning. (Applause.) Thank you all. Please rest, rest. (Laughter.) Welcome to the White House. It is wonderful to have you all here. You’ve got snow, you’ve got Christmas, it’s the best time of year. So, welcome.
I am so pleased that all of you could join us today as we award the 2010 National Medals for Museum and Library Service to 10 outstanding libraries and museums from across the country.
I want to start by acknowledging the members of Congress who are here with us today. I want to thank all of you for taking the time to join us during a very busy time of the year. But this is an important occasion and we wanted to make sure that everyone could be a part of it.
I particularly want to recognize our guests of honor today, this year’s medal winners, for your tremendous contributions to our communities.
Now, from the looks of things, you all are a pretty diverse bunch. You come from every corner of the country, from big cities and from small towns. And your programming involves everything from puppetry and gardening to Civil War battles and science experiments.
But you’re here today because you all share the same commitment to excellence, the same determination to serve your communities, and the same spirit of innovation. You’re here because you’ve challenged the conventional notions of what a library or museum can and should be, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, embracing new ideas and approaches.
At Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, for example, guests don’t just view historical re-enactments; they actually become part of them. On one visit, they might be pioneers, living on the prairie in the early 1800s. On the next visit, they might be fugitive slaves, risking their lives for a chance at freedom.