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

HHS logo
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:
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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

 
two adults and three early learned plasy together
September 2012: Your Friendly Neighborhood Library: An Inviting Space, a Family Place


The Family Place model is helping several California public libraries rethink their children’s programming. They’re taking services for their youngest readers beyond storytime by providing interactive children’s spaces that foster child and family development. Read More

 
Children build vocabulary while planting and harvesting vegetables at Hopkins Library.
May 2012: Making Learning to Read Child’s Play


The Minnesota Children’s Museum and area libraries are teaming up to create interactive exhibits that reflect each neighborhood’s unique character and spur pre-reading skills. Read More