About Us - Issues

Civic/Community Engagement

Libraries and museums build the civic strength of their communities and providing opportunities for public engagement.

Search the Awarded Grants database for grants to programs that strengthen civic/community engagement (issue areas have only been assigned to grants awarded since FY 2009)

National Initiative: National Medal for Museum and Library Services
The National Medal honors outstanding institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Selected institutions demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach.

Partnership:
StoryCorps
Each year, select museums and libraries receive the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for these institutions. Beginning with the 2009 winners,  personal stories demonstrating the ongoing impact of these award-winning institutions are being documented through a cooperative agreement between IMLS and StoryCorps.

Civic/community engagement content on the IMLS Web site:
IMLS to Host Meetings with Library Stakeholders to Inform Future Grant Directions

March 19, 2014 12:37 PM
IMLS will host the first in a series of meetings about future funding strategies at the New York Public Library on April 29. Read More

 
IMLS Grant to Support Development of Library Digital Badging System

March 12, 2014 10:19 AM
IMLS is awarding a $250,000 grant to the Brooklyn Public Library and its partner BiblioCommons for the creation and piloting of an online badging system for libraries. Read More

 
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Institute of Museum and Library Services Announces 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service Finalists

March 3, 2014 09:00 AM
Thirty institutions from across the country are finalists for the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Read More

 
CFPB Webcast YouTube
Blog Post: A National Partnership Supporting Financial Literacy at the Library

April 16, 2014 10:19 AM
IMLS and other federal agencies and library organizations are partnering with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to help libraries connect their customers to financial information, resources, and community experts. Read More

 
Summer Food Service Program USDA
Blog Post: Libraries and Museums Can Help Feed Children This Summer

April 11, 2014 12:25 PM
Two webinars describe how museums and libraries can get involved in the USDA Summer Food Service Program. Read More

 
Blog Post: A Place for Literacy Volunteerism at the Library and Museum

April 2, 2014 02:18 PM
Director Hildreth recognizes volunteer efforts in museums and libraries in honor of National Volunteer Week. Read More

 
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Tackling Money Matters at New York Public Library


The New York Public Library (NYPL) introduced Money Matters, a project to educate library staff on the core concepts of personal finance and related reference sources. The program also made the staff more open to the idea of hosting presentations by experts who provided personal finance training that was needed most by their neighborhood communities. NYPL also made the project training materials freely available. Read More

 
When Tradition Met Technology: The Chilkat Valley Fingerprints Project
When Tradition Met Technology: The Chilkat Valley Fingerprints Project


The Haines Borough Public Library and the Chilkoot Indian Association worked together on a project to share Native cultural knowledge and to offer basic literacy and technology programs to help the members of their rural, isolated community. The results: new energy and programs that empower residents with a solid foundation of traditional life skills to weather hard times, technical literacy for twenty-first century success, and mutual understanding and respect. Read More

 
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
Dialogues on Immigration: Empowering New Voices


Immigration is a part of our national history and heritage, yet immigration issues often remain divisive and emotionally charged. Thanks to a project led by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, professionals from 20 museums across the country have united to make local museums productive and safe forums for exploring the historic context and current challenges of immigration. Read More

 
2013 National Medals Brochure cover
2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service brochure


The National Medal is an annual award made to museums and libraries that have demonstrated a long-term commitment to public service through innovative programs and community partnerships. Read More

 
2012 Medal Brochure Cover
2012 National Medal for Museum and Library Service brochure


The National Medal is an annual award made to museums and libraries that have demonstrated a long-term commitment to public service through innovative programs and community partnerships. Read More

 
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Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries


Conducted by the University of Washington Information School and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and IMLS, this report is based on the first large-scale study of who uses public computers and Internet access in public libraries. Read More