Contact: Katelyn Del Buco
Pacific Science Center, Seattle

President Obama’s museum chief visits Seattle with StoryCorps to showcase the Science Center’s community service in the Northwest

SEATTLE, WA – (February 28, 2013) – The nationally recognized, award-winning oral history project, StoryCorps, is scheduled to visit Seattle Monday, March 4 through Wednesday March 6 to record stories of Pacific Science Center’s impact in the community. Among the Science Center’s storytellers is Susan Hildreth, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
After receiving the prestigious 2012 National Medal for Museum and Library Service at the White House in late November, Pacific Science Center was given the opportunity work with StoryCorps to document our impactful work straight from the source: members of the community.
Millions listen to StoryCorps on NPR’s Morning Edition. In Seattle, StoryCorps will record a broad assortment of voices and experiences. Interviewees range from current and former Science Center staff to student scientists to influential board members to local donors who have all been inspired or influenced by the many programs, exhibits and events emphasizing the value of science education in the community.
Some StoryCorps interviews will illustrate how Discovery Corps, our youth outreach program, cultivates curiosity in high school students and encourages them to pursue science related careers. Other conversations will explore how programs such as Camps for Curious Minds and Science On Wheels transcend generations and foster a desire to “give back what was given.”
As the former Seattle City Librarian, Director Hildreth has a dynamic, locally-rooted perspective on the importance of institutions, such as Pacific Science Center, that strive to create enriching programs and make them easily accessible to the public. In a candid conversation with President & CEO Bryce Seidl on March 4, Hildreth will chat about her remarkable journey; from overseeing the shelves of Seattle’s public libraries to being appointed by President Obama to direct the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.
“I’m thrilled to come back to Seattle to experience the Pacific Science Center’s innovative programs like Portal to the Public and Discovery Corps. Pacific Science Center is making a difference in the lives of community members, and it was a great honor to present the museum with the 2012 National Medal for Museum and Library Science last fall,” said Director Hildreth.
StoryCorps will archive the collected stories into the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress as part of its permanent collection of American stories. Copies of interviews will be delivered to Pacific Science Center as well as the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Since 1994, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service has honored 65 museums and 47 libraries for making significant and exceptional contributions in their communities. Selected institutions demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. Winners are honored at a National Medal award ceremony held in Washington, D.C.
Since the Science Center opened in 1962, it has been a leader in inquiry-based interactive science education. As an independent not-for-profit institution, Pacific Science Center inspires lifelong interest in science, math and technology by engaging diverse communities through interactive and innovative exhibits and programs. With approximately one million guests visiting our exhibit halls and more than 300,000 students and teachers throughout the state of Washington experiencing exhibits in their own classrooms each year, Pacific Science Center is a community leader in science education.