The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a zoo, a botanical garden and a natural history museum all in one.

Now, it’s getting the highest recognition from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) The 2024 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

The Desert Museum is one of ten recipients narrowed down from 30 national finalists that displayed excellence in outreach and service to their communities.

KGUN 9 spoke to the Desert Museum’s Executive Director Craig Ivanyi when the the museum was announced as a finalist in the competition.

SEE HERE: ‘This place is special:’ Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum director reacts to being a national medal finalist

The Copper Queen Library in Bisbee also made the cut.

“These institutions and their dedicated staff are stepping up to anticipate and meet the needs of their individual communities,” Acting IMLS Director Cyndee Landrum said in the press release.

“From New York to Arizona, these 10 recipients are unparalleled sources of education, health, jobs, and cultural resources, bridging the gaps of distance, resources, and experience for community members.”

The awards will be presented in Washington D.C. this summer. See the rest of the 2024 recipients at the Institute of Museum and Library Services website.

Previous coverage by KGUN 9’s Westside reporter Adam Klepp:

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum finalist for national award