Earlier this month, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum was one of ten museums and libraries awarded the 2008 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the country's "highest honor for institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities." The Institute of Museum and Library Services honors these institutions for "reach[ing] out to people of all ages and backgrounds and invite them to explore our wonderfully diverse history, culture, and literature."

If you've ever been to the Tenement Museum, which is right on Orchard Street, you'll know that's true. The museum offers a number of guided tours that show how immigrants of different backgrounds lived and worked during the 19th and 20th centuries through six restored apartments. And the museum's website has various virtual tours, and channel Thirteen created this website showing the "urban log cabin" of the museum.

Yesterday, First Lady Laura Bush visited the Tenement Museum with daughter Barbara. The museum's entrance is at 108 Orchard Street, and it's open 7 days a week, 11a-5p (tickets are $17 for adults, $13 for students and seniors 65 years+). There are also free "Tenement Talks" held throughout the year.