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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:
Webinar for Libraries and Museums on Integrating Early Learning Activities with State Systems

July 28, 2014 01:55 PM
The August 4th webinar will provide an overview of the state systems of early learning and describe how museums and libraries can align their early learning activities with these systems. Read More

 
Call for Applications: FY 2015 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

July 15, 2014 09:01 AM
IMLS is accepting applications for the Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program through September 15, 2014. Read More

 
IMLS Announces New Awards to Strengthen Early Learning Activities at Libraries and Museums

July 11, 2014 11:15 AM
Three awards, totaling $771,854, will help involve libraries and museums in state-level and systems-level early learning strategies. Read More

 
Blog Post: Congress Passes Legislation Recognizing Libraries in Workforce Development

July 16, 2014 03:29 PM
Congress passes sweeping overhaul of nation’s workforce law. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 affirms the role of libraries in assisting the country’s job seekers and employers. Read More

 
IMLS Director Susan Hildreth and OCTAE Acting Assistant Secretary Johan Uvin while attending the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).
Blog Post: Libraries and Adult Education Program Team Up on Digital Literacy

June 26, 2014 12:17 PM
IMLS Director Susan H. Hildreth and OCTAE Acting Assistant Secretary Johan Uvin release joint letter describing partnership. Read More

 
Blog Post: Interview: Nebraska Library Commission

June 25, 2014 09:43 AM
Federal library funding will strengthen employment assistance, improve access to government information and help people use technology. 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