About Us - Issues

Early Learning

Museums and libraries have special roles in meeting the needs of the youngest learners and their caregivers.

Available Now: Growing Young Minds
The Growing Young Minds report, from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Institute of Museum and Library Services calls upon policymakers, practitioners, and parents to make full use of libraries and museums, and the skills and talents of those who work in them, to close knowledge and opportunity gaps and give all children a strong start in learning.

Read full report (PDF, 1.7MB)
Cover of Growing Young Minds

Read Executive Summary (PDF, 0.8MB)
cover of Executive Summary

Learn more about our partnership with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

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Partnership:
Head Start, Child Care, and Public Libraries
This partnership between IMLS and the HHS Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Head Start and Office of Child Care encourages collaboration between early childhood programs and public libraries to help meet the educational needs of young children and their families.

Let's Move logoNational Initiative: Let's Move! Museums & Gardens
This new national initiative will provide opportunities for millions of museum and garden visitors to learn about healthy food choices and promote physical activity through interactive exhibits and programs.

Search the Awarded Grants database for grants to programs that strengthen early learning (issue areas have only been assigned to grants awarded since FY 2009)

Early learning content on the IMLS website:
Federal Grants of $30 Million Awarded to Support Museums across the U.S.

September 18, 2014 08:28 AM
Today IMLS announces recipients of the Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums programs. Grants awarded in 2014 inspire museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Read More

 
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

 
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

 
Blog Post: Good News from Washington, D.C.

December 19, 2014 10:23 AM
Three new developments in Washington, D.C. will impact the work of U.S. libraries and museums for months and years to come. Read More

 
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Blog Post: Brand New Books Will Serve Kids in Need

December 17, 2014 03:47 PM
First Book provides free and low-cost books and educational resources to museums and libraries who serve children from low-income families. Read More

 
Blog Post: Museums and Libraries: Be a Part of our Brain Building Journey

November 21, 2014 03:11 PM
Families and Work Institute is gathering information on early learning best practices and innovative approaches being used in libraries and museums across the country. Read More

 
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Teacher Institutes for Science Education and Ocean Conservation at the Monterey Bay Aquarium


The Monterey Bay Aquarium offered expanded professional development programs for teachers through a teacher institute project, providing 450 teachers with new tools, skills, and support through 15 year-long, grade-appropriate teacher institutes over 3 years. Participating teachers were better able to engage and inspire students to develop a connection to their local environment and gain the basic ocean science and critical thinking skills necessary to be effective citizens and ocean stewards. Read More

 
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Built to Learn: A Model Community Engagement Project


The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is bringing the museum experience into public housing developments with a model program that includes early childhood literacy elements, health exhibits, and educational programming. Read More

 
A young girl uses an e-reader
Digital Storytime Means Serious Fun – and Vital Learning – for Arizona Toddlers


Adding e-readers to a traditional library preschool storytime gets parents more engaged and adds a new dimension of interaction for the children. In addition to developing language skills and instilling a love of books, the program helps bridge the digital divide, putting families on the path to digital literacy in a community with limited access to technology. Read More

 
Growing Young Minds
Growing Young Minds


Growing Young Minds, from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Institute of Museum and Library Services calls upon policymakers, practitioners, and parents to make full use of libraries and museums, and the skills and talents of those who work in them, to close knowledge and opportunity gaps and give all children a string start in learning. Read More

 
GrowingYoungMinds ExecSum 1
Growing Young Minds: Executive Summary


Growing Young Minds, from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Institute of Museum and Library Services calls upon policymakers, practitioners, and parents to make full use of libraries and museums, and the skills and talents of those who work in them, to close knowledge and opportunity gaps and give all children a string start in learning. Read More

 
Early Learning Task Force Meeting Notes


On December 5, 2012, IMLS and the Campaign for Grade Level Reading convened the initial meeting of the Early Learning Task Force, which includes more than a dozen senior executives from museums and public library systems, federal health and human service agency representatives, policy advocacy groups, and IMLS and Campaign leadership. 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

 
Thumbnail of IMLS Supports Young Learners in the Library
Talking Points: Young Learners in the Library


Quick summary of the impact of library services for early learning. Read More

 
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2013 Medal Winner: Pierce County Library System

July 16, 2013 12:00 AM
Pierce County Library System Executive Director, Neel Parikh and community member Jo Cruz traveled to Washington, DC from Tacoma, Washington to receive the national medal and spoke to IMLS about how the library impacts the community. Read More