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 Announces Grants of $14.16 Million for Libraries across the U.S.

August 31, 2015 07:44 AM
New grants will help libraries engage learners of all ages, provide access to content, develop models for the library field, and support services for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians. Read More

 
Call for Nominations: 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

July 22, 2015 10:28 AM
Know a museum or library that is making a significant difference in your community with exceptional programs and services? Nominate them for a National Medal. Read More

 
USCIS and IMLS Host Webinar for Public Libraries on August 11

July 20, 2015 01:35 PM
We invite you participate in the latest webinar in the joint agency series. Read More

 
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Blog Post: Family Place Libraries Hit a Home Run

September 1, 2015 10:08 AM
The Kalamazoo Public Library partnered with a collegiate baseball team to provide a summer reading program for their youngest fans. Read More

 
The design team working with veteran Lisa Marie Wiley on the quick switch apparatus at the competition.
Blog Post: Learning Labs Put 3D Printing Skills to the Test to Improve Lives for Veterans in Virginia

August 19, 2015 12:58 PM
Virginia teens teamed up with the Science Museum of Virginia’s the YOUmedia Learning Lab for a Make-a-thon hosted by the Department of Veteran Affairs. Their award-winning prototype, a 3D printed socket, will make it possible for veterans to easily switch and wear different prostheses. Read More

 
New Bedford Whaling Museum apprentices take a selfie in front of the world’s largest ship model, Lagoda.
Blog Post: Why Host a High School Apprentice Program?

August 5, 2015 10:04 AM
The New Bedford Whaling Museum hosts an afterschool apprenticeship program to inspire high school students to enroll in college. Read More

 
Family member and young boy peering through painting glass
Hands-on, Play-Based Learning at the Marbles Kids Museum Helps Kids and Parents Get Ready for School

August 13, 2015 11:03 AM
Marbles Kids Museum developed and implemented a school readiness project, “Ready, Set, School.” Through hands-on play in a new “Ready, Set, School” classroom exhibit and participation in play-based, school-like programming and events, the project increases school readiness among children ages 2-5, their families, and community organizations that support them. Read More

 
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Ten Libraries and Museums Honored at the White House


On Monday, May 18, First Lady Michelle Obama joined the Institute of Museum and Library Services Acting Director Maura Marx to present the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Ten institutions from across the country attended the White House Ceremony to be recognized for outstanding service to their communities. Read More

 
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Creative Aging Engages Seniors through Art


Westchester Library System, a cooperative library system, implemented a Creative Aging instructional arts program to empower community libraries to offer programs providing social engagement and creative expression to active and engaged seniors. Read More

 
IMLS Focus Learning in Libraries Final Report cover
IMLS Focus Learning in Libraries Final Report


This summary report outlines the major discussion points of the IMLS Focus convening on Learning in Libraries, held on May 14, 2015. The report highlights some of the key themes and issues raised by convening presenters and participants. Read More

 
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2015 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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2014 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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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