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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:
NSPP Logo
National Student Poets Amplify the Teen Voice for National Poetry Month

April 1, 2014 09:27 AM
Selected by a White House committee, student poetry ambassadors connect youth across the country to the dynamic art of literary self-expression Read More

 
Grant Awards Announcement: FY 14 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

March 31, 2014 08:39 AM
Grants will prepare librarians to serve tribal communities, immigrants, underserved youth and preschoolers, rare book researchers, and many others. Read More

 
Institute of Museum and Library Services to Hold Public Hearing

March 19, 2014 02:42 PM
The public hearing will be April 17, 2014, at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library in Washington, DC. Read More

 
Maggie discovers 3D printing at the Chattanooga Public Library.
Blog Post: What Good is a Gig?

April 8, 2014 01:08 PM
Partially funded by IMLS, the Inclusive Gigabit Libraries project shares case studies on libraries that are getting gigabit-speed internet connections. Read More

 
Blog Post: Digital Badging: An Opportunity for Libraries and Museums

March 19, 2014 03:56 PM
Director Hildreth asks: Are badges in your future? Read More

 
Videoconferencing in the craig public library
Blog Post: NTIA Brings Broadband Opportunities to Alaska

March 14, 2014 01:05 PM
The Alaska State Library worked with the National Telecommunications & Information Administration to establish public computer centers at 97 public libraries across the state, and provide online technology training. 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

 
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