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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:
IMLS Awards $3.9 Million for Library Service to Native Americans and Native Hawaiians

September 11, 2014 10:32 AM
IMLS grants support basic library services, 21st century skills training and cultural projects and initiatives. Read More

 
Notice of Funding Opportunity: FY2015 National Leadership Grants for Libraries

August 13, 2014 03:35 PM
IMLS seeks proposals that address new strategic priorities identified in nationally-webcast IMLS Focus meetings. Learn more at our webinars on August 20, at 3:00 PM ET, and (repeated) on September 16, at 3:00 PM ET. Read More

 
Grant Awards Announcement: IMLS Provides $241,500 in Grants for the Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States

August 6, 2014 08:44 AM
IMLS announced grants that will help expand digital services and connectivity, digital literacy, professional development, and support summer reading, bookmobiles, collections, and more. Read More

 
A girl pictured with the InfoMe logo
Blog Post: Immigrant and Refugee Youth Use Technology to Help their Families and Neighbors

September 11, 2014 10:54 AM
InfoMe finds that youth express both satisfaction and stress as they use their tech skills as lifelines for others. Read More

 
Blog Post: IMLS Convenings Focus on Learning Spaces, STEM

August 12, 2014 02:08 PM
IMLS hosted a series of strategic priority meetings designed to help inform future strategies, particularly for the National Leadership Grant program. Here are some takeaways from the convenings on learning spaces in libraries and STEM learning in libraries. Read More

 
Blog Post: CFPB Offers Free Materials and Other Resources for Libraries

August 8, 2014 09:22 AM
Resources on financial literacy, such as print materials, program ideas, and web resources, are available to librarians from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 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

 
Teens 1
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