The Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington this week announced Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum is among the 30 finalists for the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

Shawn Michaels, Townsquare Media

The National Medal is the nation's highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 21 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service to make a difference for individuals, families, and communities, according to a news release.

"Museums and libraries are the lifeblood of our communities, serving as trusted providers of critical resources, educational training, skills development, and civic and cultural enrichment," said Maura Marx, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. "We salute Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum for exemplary leadership in promoting lifelong learning while engaging and inspiring the public."

Finalists are chose based on certain criteria, primarily their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities.

"Candidates showing that they have an understanding of the community that they serve and what their needs are, that they demonstrate that the programs that they have and services address those needs, they show that they have impact and quality programs, and also that they are financially stable," said Claudia French, Deputy Director for Museums for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

French also noted just being a finalist helps draws attention to those venues and can lead to future funding opportunities.

The National Medal winners will be named later this spring, and representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C. to be honored at the National Medal award ceremony.

To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit www.imls.gov/medals.