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  What Are 21st Century Skills?
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Why are 21st century skills important to libraries and museums?

Combining strengths in traditional and digital learning, libraries and museums are well-positioned to build the skills Americans need in the 21st century. Find out how your institution can get started.

How can libraries and museums help create a network of community organizations that together address the 21st century learning needs of their citizens?

Libraries and museums are strong community anchors that, together with formal education and other community organizations, create a network of learning within a community. Find out how you can host a community workshop to raise awareness about 21st century skills.

Want to see 21st century skills in action?

At IMLS we have gathered success stories that demonstrate how libraries and museums are transforming their institutions and making a difference in their communities. Hear firsthand stories of success.

What's New with IMLS and 21st Century Skills:
National Medal Image
Thirty Museums and Libraries Tapped as Finalists for National Medal

February 24, 2015 09:28 AM
For 21 years, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service to make a difference for individuals, families, and communities. Read More

 
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STEM-Rich Afterschool Making Project of IMLS and Exploratorium is Part of Interagency Learning Collaboration for Underserved Students

February 3, 2015 12:01 PM
The project will use STEM-focused content, instructional strategies, and training approaches developed by science museums to help 21st Century Community Learning Centers offer making activities. Read More

 
Grant Will Connect Early Learning Services of Museums and Libraries with Medical Community

January 8, 2015 01:43 PM
Reach Out and Read’s New Project is a "Prescription for Success." Read More

 
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Blog Post: IMLS and Open Government Initiatives

February 19, 2015 11:25 AM
The principles of open government are critical to the mission of IMLS. Today’s launch of data.imls.gov will help unlock the power of government data to spur research and innovation. Read More

 
Susan Hildreth
Blog Post: A Message of Farewell

January 15, 2015 03:53 PM
During my four years leading IMLS, we helped shaped a future course for the nation’s libraries and museums through our investments, partnerships, and leadership initiatives. Read More

 
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Blog Post: 2014 Meteorology Makers’ Club Fair

January 8, 2015 08:38 AM
After three months of learning, making, and tinkering, nineteen middle school students from the Meteorology Makers’ Club in Norman, OK, proudly displayed their creations. Read More

 
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Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums:Transformative Spaces for Teens


Learn how 24 cities and counties applied new research about young people’s media practices to create physical and digital spaces for learning. This publication describes lessons learned, new models and practices and the impact of Learning Labs, supported by IMLS and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Read More

 
cover of Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills report
Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills Report


This report outlines a vision for the role of libraries and museums in the national dialogue around learning and 21st century skills and includes case studies of innovative audience engagement and 21st century skills practices from across the country. Read More

 
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Talking Points: From Third Place to Makerspace: Public Libraries and Teens


A snapshot of how public libraries reach out to teens with programs and services. Read More

 
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Talking Points: Adults Gain Skills at the Library


Short overview of the impact of library services for adult literacy. Read More

 
cpver of Talking Points: Makerspaces
Talking Points: Museums, Libraries, and Makerspaces


Quick summary of makerspaces -- hands-on, mentor-led learning environments to make and remake the physical and digital worlds -- in museums and libraries. Read More

 
21st Century Skills podcast

August 11, 2010 03:54 PM
In this podcast, Acting Director Marsha L. Semmel explains: 1) What are 21st century skills? 2) Where did the 21st century skills movement come from? 3) Where do museums and libraries fit in the 21st century skills movement? Semmel also describes Making the Learning Connection, IMLS’s national campaign to better understand the opportunities, challenges, and key issues facing today’s museums and libraries in their efforts to meet their communities’ 21st century learning needs. The campaign includes an eight-city workshop tour, a national contest, new online tools and resources, and a series of interactive webinars. Read More