IMLS Legislative Timeline
Reauthorization of the Museum and Library Services Act of 2010
On December 22, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Museum and Library Services Act of 2010 (PL 111-340). The new law reauthorizes the existing programs of the Institute of Museum and Library Services with some important changes. The updated language calls on IMLS to take an active role in research and data collection and to advise the President and Congress on museum, library, and information services. This Act also clearly recognizes how libraries and museums contribute to a competitive workforce and engaged citizenry. New language focuses on the development of essential 21st century skills.
Download full legislation with amendments as PDF
Download full legistation as PDF
Museum and Library Services Act of 2003
On September 25, 2003 President Bush signed into law the Museum and Library Services Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-81). Recognizing the effectiveness of the new agency, this legislation reauthorized federal appropriations for IMLS. But the framers of the 2003 law also sought to capitalize on lessons learned since 1996 by amending the initial MLSA in several ways. Download full legislation as PDF
National Museum of African American History and Culture Act of 2003
In December 2003, Congress passed and President Bush signed the National Museum of African American History and Culture Act. In addition to providing authority to create a new Smithsonian museum for African American History and Culture, the Act provides new authority for IMLS to support African American museums.
The Association of African American Museums estimates that there are about 117 African American museums in the United States. While these museums are eligible for existing IMLS grant programs, the new program will explore new ways of working with African American Museums. Specifically, the purpose of this program is to enhance the vitality and sustainability of these institutions and encourage scholarship and careers in African American history and culture. Download full legislation as PDF
E-Government Act of 2002
The purpose of the E-Government Act of 2002 is to enhance the management and promotion of electronic government services and processes, thereby improving citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes. One of the law's provisions instructed the Director of IMLS to work with the Secretary of Education, the newly created Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government, other relevant agencies, and the public to develop an online tutorial that explains how to access government information and services on the Internet; and provides a guide to available online resources. Download full legislation as PDF
Museum and Library Services Act of 1996
The Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA) of 1996 established the Institute of Museum and Library Services within the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities. The new agency combined the Institute of Museum Services, which had been in existence since 1976, and the Library Programs Office, which had been part of the Department of Education since 1956. It authorized federal funding for IMLS through FY 2002. IMLS would comprise the Office of Library Services (OLS) and the Office of Museum Services (OMS). Download full legislation as PDF