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:
HomePromoApr14
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

 
photo of the National Medal
November 2012: IMLS Honors 10 Museums and Libraries for Outstanding Community Service


IMLS has selected five libraries and five museums to receive the 2012 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries for extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental, and social contributions. Recipients must demonstrate innovative approaches to public service and community outreach. Read More

 
GoKids program at the Boston Children’s Museum
January 2012: Boston Children’s Museum Finds Community is Great Teacher


When the Boston Children’s Museum’s KidPower—a new health exhibit—became the anchor exhibit of its new wing, the Museum’s new health focus was literally front and center. They joined the ranks of children’s museums that are becoming a national force in combating childhood obesity and at the same time found they could learn valuable lessons from their local community. Read More