About Us - Issues

Economic/Community Development

Museums and libraries are community anchors that drive economic and community development.

Partnership: Building Sustainable Communities
IMLS is partnering with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to better understand how museums and libraries are working to support comprehensive community revitalization. Through this partnership, IMLS will analyze existing cases and report back on best practices and strategies for successful museum-library and community collaborations fostering revitalization.

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

Economic/community development content on the IMLS Web site:
Medals2015 FLOTUS
First Lady Michelle Obama Presents National Medal to Exceptional Museums and Libraries at White House Ceremony

May 18, 2015 03:18 PM
The First Lady presented the awards to the museum and library directors and to community members from each institution, who shared how the library or museum has impacted their lives. Read More

 
Third Library Stakeholder Meeting Set for June 2 at Los Angeles Public Library

May 15, 2015 03:26 PM
The meeting starts and 9:00 PDT. We welcome your participation via #IMLSfocus and the e-mail address, focus@imls.gov. Read More

 
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IMLS Hosts the First Capitol Hill Maker Faire June 11

May 12, 2015 04:06 PM
The Capitol Hill Maker Faire kicks off a city-wide celebration of Making. Read More

 
President Barack Obama answers questions from students during the Discovery Education webinar
Blog Post: ConnectED: Open Books and Open Doors

May 1, 2015 02:01 PM
Yesterday, the President traveled to the Anacostia Neighborhood Library in Washington, D.C., to announce new partnerships to expand access to free e-books for America’s students and to ensure every student has easy access to their local library and the wealth of knowledge and resources it can provide. Read More

 
Susan Hildreth
Blog Post: A Message of Farewell

January 15, 2015 03:53 PM
During my four years leading IMLS, we helped shaped a future course for the nation’s libraries and museums through our investments, partnerships, and leadership initiatives. Read More

 
Kyle with little girl holding a READ sticker
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

 
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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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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 group of immigrant adults attending a tour at the Queens Museum of Art.
December 2009: Creating an Arts Education Program for Immigrants


When the Queens Museum of Art wanted to create an arts education program for immigrant adults, its location in the nation’s most diverse county played a big role in the process. To find a model program, it looked to the Queens Library, which had been providing cultural programming to new immigrants for 30 years. 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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Research Brief No. 6: First Grade Student Library Card Ownership Linked to Library Visitation


A library card provides greater independence and access to literacy and information, while signifying increased responsibility and self-efficacy. Are there differences between children who do or do not have a library card? This brief focuses on children’s library card ownership in the first grade. Read More

 
Cover of Opportunity for All publication
Opportunity for All: How Library Policies and Practices Impact Public Internet Access


This report offers an analysis of the service in four public library systems and makes recommendations for strategies that help to sustain and improve public access service. Read More

 
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Talking Points: Library/Workforce Partnerships Spur Economic Development


Quick summary of the impact of library services for workforce development. Read More