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21st Century Skills

The global economy calls for new skills like critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation.

Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century SkillsNational Initiative: Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills
The Institute's Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills initiative underscores the critical role our nation’s museums and libraries play in helping citizens build such 21st century skills as information, communications and technology literacy, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, civic literacy, and global awareness.

Stem Video Game Challenge logoPartnership: STEM Video Game Challenge
IMLS is a National Community Sponsor of the National STEM Video Game Challenge. The Challenge, now in its third year, was inspired by President Obama’s "Educate to Innovate" Campaign, promoting science, technology, engineering and math education.

Search the Awarded Grants database for grants to programs that strengthen 21st century skills (issue areas have only been assigned to grants awarded since FY 2009)

21st century skills content on the IMLS Web site:
Application Period Opens for 2015 National Digital Stewardship Residency Program

December 18, 2014 09:53 AM
IMLS and the Library of Congress call for applicants and announce the 2015 host institutions and projects. The application deadline is January 30. Read More

 
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Libraries and Museums Kick Off STEM Video Game Challenge Workshops

December 11, 2014 01:31 PM
Museum and libraries across the country are stepping up to the Challenge by hosting workshops for youth and staff on game design. Check out the list of workshops and other resources your institution can use to get involved. Read More

 
IMLS and Department of Education’s OCTAE Present Digital Strategy Webinar for Librarians

December 9, 2014 09:08 AM
The December 18 webinar will cover national initiatives, resources, and tools that public and school librarians can use to enhance their digital literacy programming and services. Read More

 
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Blog Post: Interview: Arkansas State Library

December 15, 2014 11:20 AM
With LSTA funds the Arkansas State Library will focus on reaching underserved audiences, providing continuing education for librarians, and supporting technology and broadband services. Read More

 
Blog Post: New Funding Available for Programs that Serve Disconnected Youth

November 26, 2014 12:31 PM
Learn more at Performance Partnership Pilot webinar on December 1st. Read More

 
Blog Post: Interview: Colorado State Library

November 21, 2014 10:20 AM
The state library is focusing on early literacy, including their “1,000 books by kindergarten” program. Read More

 
LearningLabsReport 1
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

 
Talking Points: Adult Literacy Cover
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