Hands-on, Play-Based Learning at the Marbles Kids Museum Helps Kids and Parents Get Ready for School
Family member and young boy peering through painting glass

Aug 13, 2015

Marbles Kids Museum developed and implemented a school readiness project, “Ready, Set, School.” Through hands-on play in a new “Ready, Set, School” classroom exhibit and participation in play-based, school-like programming and events, the project increases school readiness among children ages 2-5, their families, and community organizations that support them. Read More

Opening the World of Museums and Libraries to Visually Impaired Visitors

As IMLS commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), museums and libraries, such as the Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences continue to expand accessibility of their services and resources to those with visual impairments and other disabilities. Read More

A Maker State, Powered By Libraries

The Makerstate Initiative is a project that aims to excite New Mexico communities about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) and support libraries throughout the state in introducing maker technologies in a fun and accessible way. Read More

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

Preserving Art and Finding Hidden Treasures

The Barnes Foundation treated 22 works of art on paper from its permanent collection, including art by Picasso, Cézanne, Klee, Degas, and Renoir, for conservation. In addition to increasing collection accessibility for education, research, and aesthetic appreciation, the conservation project produced an astounding discovery. Read More

Creative Aging Engages Seniors through Art

Westchester Library System, a cooperative library system, implemented a Creative Aging instructional arts program to empower community libraries to offer programs providing social engagement and creative expression to active and engaged seniors. Read More

Climate Change and Plants—Predicting and Planning

Research by the Missouri Botanical Garden combines bioclimatic modeling and innovative experiments to shed light on key questions concerning the impacts of climate change on plant diversity, with the aim of helping conservationists develop scientifically based protocols to avert the loss of species.​ Read More

Supporting Trainers to Bridge the Digital Divide

The Public Library Association partnered with the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies to develop an online collection of digital literacy resources accessible to libraries, patrons, and other community-based organizations. Read More

Rediscovering History with Needles, Thread, and Caribou Skins

Through a grant from IMLS, the Alutiiq Museum developed a project to educate adult skin sewers on Kodiak Island, recruit new sewers, create educational resources on skin sewing, and enrich community knowledge of the art of Native Alaskan skin sewing. Read More

Oklahoma Libraries as a Gateway to Citizenship

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries collaborated with library and community-based programs to support English language learning, civic engagement, and preparation for citizenship. Read More

Can Punch Cards and Photo Booths Build Visitor Loyalty?

The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History at the McPherson Center’s Loyalty Lab project tested low-tech, low-cost techniques to deepen visitor engagement, help the museum build relationships, and encourage repeat visits. Read More

Rhode Island’s First Responders Receive Training to Limit Damage to Collections

The Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) spearheaded a model program to help first responders and collecting institutions prepare for and respond to disasters. Read More

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

Literacy and Tech for Toddlers at El Paso Community College Northwest Library

The Jenna Welch and Laura Bush Community Library, based at the El Paso Community College Northwest campus, implemented an Interactive Technology and Literacy Program for area young children and their parents to foster a long term love of learning, a habit of library usage, and a college-going culture among community residents. Read More

Preserving African American History and Expanding a Field of Study
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The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland used an IMLS grant to begin documenting Professor David C. Driskell’s one-of-a-kind archive consisting of an estimated 50,000 objects. The center hired an archivist, graduate student interns, and a consulting archivist to develop procedures for inventorying and making the collection available online. Read More

A Day of White House Accolades for 2014 National Medal Recipients

The White House brought national attention to the outstanding work of the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service recipients. Institutional leaders and board members participated in the ceremony, which also featured community members whose stories illustrated the profound impact of the institutions in their lives. Read More

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

Using History to Transform a Community: Peralta Hacienda Historical Park

Peralta Hacienda Historical Park strengthened its relationship with its surrounding community by involving local residents as exhibit developers, tour leaders, oral history subjects, audience, and staff. The project empowered community members to lead historical tours using their own stories. Read More

Planting Seeds of Information: Creating a Digital Natural History Collection
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Friesner Herbarium at Butler University houses the third largest collection of plant specimens in Indiana. An IMLS grant allowed the herbarium and Butler’s Irwin Library to create a digital collection, in partnership with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Read More

Open-Ended Exploration: "Making" Endless Possibilities in STEM

The New York Hall of Science, in partnership with the Queens Museum of Art, created "Queens Makes," a program to foster invention, experimental problem solving, design, and building for young tinkerers and their families. Read More

Multimedia Story Project Gives Voice to Teens and Extends a Hand to Refugee Community

Supported by the IMLS Grants to States program, Salt Lake County Library Services partnered with nonprofit Spy Hop to teach a free six-week course called Speak Up!, to teach local refugee youth how to use digital media to tell their stories. 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

Dialogues on Immigration: Empowering New Voices
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience

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

Play the Past -- Reinventing the Fieldtrip for 21st Century Learners

With IMLS funding, and in partnership with the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Games Learning Society, the Minnesota Historical Society is using mobile and web technology to create self-directed, personalized, responsive fieldtrip experiences. Read More

Building an Online Commons for Balboa Park
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The Balboa Park Online Collaborative launched the Balboa Park Commons, a resource for educators featuring more than 20,000 digitized photographs and artifacts from seven cultural organizations in Balboa Park. Read More

STEM+M: Boosting Education and Library Participation through Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Music

A modest grant let the Gleason Public Library, in Carlisle Massachusetts, put major emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and Music programs. The Library sponsored 35 science, technology and music programs for all ages, and worked with local schools to incorporate its new seismograph into the curriculum. From stargazing events, to a new science fiction book club, live music on the lawn, and a technology “petting zoo,” the program helped draw in new library user. Read More

May 2013: First Lady Michelle Obama Presents 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

IMLS selected five libraries and five museums to receive the 2013 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

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

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

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

An American Future: Library Service Opportunities for Immigrant Youth
An intern peers between shelves in the library stacks

Liberty’s Promise, an immigrant youth service organization, teamed with the Fairfax County Public Library system to create an internship program that delivered benefits for the library, the interns, and the community. Read More

January 2013: Ancient Mammoth, Newfound Paleontological Pride

Dee, a Columbian Mammoth, was 65 to 70 when he died approximately 11,600 years ago. In 2010, Dee was reborn as the centerpiece of a major Ice Age exhibit at the Tate Geological Museum at Casper College.​ Read More

December 2012: Multiplying Multiculturalism: One Museum Plots a Course to Promote Cultural Preservation Statewide
Marion McGee, the assistant director, and Althemese Barnes, the founder of the John G. Riley House and Museum.

As a small museum grew into a multi-dimensional center of historic and cultural preservation, it faced a challenge. The museum’s founder needed to expand professional capacity and put in place a leader to succeed her. Read More

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

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

October 2012: Where to Learn English? A Museum Of Course
Students from the Borough of Manhattan Community College CLIP program at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan

Art museums can be excellent English literacy classrooms. An innovative program that partners university and community college ESL programs with New York City art museums is finding that works of art generate excellent discussions for students of English. Read More

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

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

August 2012: Keeping Oral History Alive in a Digital World
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Recorders and preservers of oral history are benefiting from the wealth of resources offered by Michigan State University’s “Oral History in the Digital Age” project, which assists practitioners and addresses core issues influencing the field in the 21st century. Read More

July 2012: Art Goes to School
Some/One, 2001, © Do Ho Suh, Korean, works in America, born 1962, Stainless steel military dog-tags, nickel plated copper sheets

The Seattle Art Museum’s “Art Goes to School” project is helping the Museum fulfill its mission of connecting art to life for more K–12 students and their teachers with a range of outreach and professional development activities. Read More

June 2012: Accessible Libraries for All
An ALFA fellow learns about digital Braille readers for people with visual disabilities.

Students seeking master’s degrees in library and information science at universities in Alabama and Michigan are undertaking a unique curriculum that embraces the idea of universal accessibility and service to special needs populations. Read More

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

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

April 2012: North Carolina Initiative Focuses on Preserving State's Cultural Heritage
NC C2C Staff: Adrienne Berney, Matthew Hunt, Michelle Vaughn, and LeRae Umfleet

The North Carolina Connecting to Collections (C2C) program is helping the state’s museums, libraries, and other cultural heritage institutions better care for their collections. This profile demonstrates how the C2C program is making an impact throughout the state by conducting forums, hosting workshops, and providing other valuable resources. Read More

March 2012: Early Literacy Projects in Alaska and Kansas Prepare the Youngest Readers
profilePromoMarch2012 AK

Early experiences with books and language lay the foundation for a child’s later reading success and school achievement. Libraries across the country are reaching young learners in innovative ways. This profile explores literacy programs in Alaska and Kansas that are preparing young readers long before they enter the classroom. Read More

February 2012: Tubman African American Museum Takes Exhibits Beyond Museum Walls
students use computers in the museum

The Tubman African American Museum is giving “community outreach” a new meaning. While looking to expand its audience and provide education beyond the museum walls, the museum developed an “Arts & History Outreach Program” that is doing just that. Read More

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

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

November 2011: IMLS Honors 10 Museums and Libraries for Outstanding Community Service
photo of the National Medal

IMLS has selected five libraries and five museums to receive the 2011 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

October 2011: 3-D Imaging Technology Preserves Audio Collections
IMG 0295 2

Libraries, archives and museums across the country have special audio collections contained on antique grooved media that are broken, too fragile or too degraded to play back on traditional systems. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory IRENE/3D project uses digital imaging technology to preserve these sound recordings. Read More

September 2011: Teachers Use Museum Objects to Help Students Learn about Real-World Problems
Two teachers converse at a table; museum collections are visible in the background.

The Event-Based Teachers Collaborative at Yale University’s Peabody Museum of Natural History supports K-12 school teachers and their students by facilitating the development of new and exciting curriculum that integrates museum objects while aligning with national and state standards for learning. Read More

August 2011: National Librarian Training Program Supports Workforce Recovery Efforts
Three members of the Project Compass team.

A grant to WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina is helping libraries, nationwide, to meet increasing demands to connect customers with workforce resources. Read More

July 2011: State Talking Book Libraries: Programs for People with Visual or Physical Disabilities
Photo of two boys in a library using Talking Books.

Through its Grants to State Library Administrative Agencies, the largest of all of its grant programs, IMLS provides funding to state libraries around the country to provide critical services to visually and physically impaired Americans including braille materials and recorded audiobooks also known as “talking books”. Read More

June 2011: Fine Arts Museum Brings Together Community Resources to Provide Art and Science Fusion Education
Lamar Elementary students pose with Assistant Museum Educator Megan DiRienzo at the end of their Art Science Fusion program.

With funding from an IMLS National Leadership Grant, the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, along with its partners, the San Angelo Independent School District and the Upper Colorado River Authority, brings together community resources to create an interdisciplinary program of art and science education that engages students in real-life projects focusing on water conservation and environmental science.​ Read More

May 2011: A Knight at the Museum Encourages Family Reading through Learning Quest Adventures
One of the Special Participating Youth (SPYs) plays at the Knight table with a Treehouse Museum visitor.

The Treehouse Museum's A Knight at the Museum program provides opportunities for families of children enrolled in area Head Start programs and in local public schools to participate in storybook themed learning quests centered around the museum's resources. Thanks to funding by an IMLS Museums for America Engaging Communities grant, the Treehouse Museum updated its exhibits for the program and offered the event at reduced cost to area schools. Read More

April 2011: Research Explores How School Librarians Use Digital Content for STEM Learning
A librarian and three students use a computer in a school library.

Studies suggest that Interactive resources like models, videos, images, data sets and manipulatives, many of which are freely available to school libraries as open content through the web are important for learning science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts. Florida State University, School of Library & Information Studies is using an IMLS grant to explore how school librarians can make it easier for students and their teachers to use digital content to support STEM learning. Read More

March 2011: Multicultural Internship Program Mentors and Inspires Teens to Seek Library Careers
The Multicultural Internship Program (MIP) coordinator and a MIP intern.

This month's project profile examines the positive impact of mentoring and empowering teens for library careers and community leadership. One of the goals of the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program is to attract a new generation of diverse and creative people to librarianship. Read More

February 2011: Museum Artifacts Enhance Teaching about Bias and Tolerance
Oil painting depicting a scene of slaves being sold at a public outdoor auction

This month’s project profile highlights how the Missouri Historical Society used museum artifacts and other objects as a catalyst for engaging middle school and high school students in learning about tolerance, bias, and inclusive communities. Read More

January 2011: Tribal Community Works together to Inspire Young Readers at the Library
photo of Adam Becker reading to children

“Raising Readers through Programs and Outreach,” an initiative of the Pueblo of Pojoaque Public Library in New Mexico, is designed to meet a critical community need for basic literacy, a foundational 21st Century skill that libraries across the country support and promote in innovative ways. The library’s efforts are proving to be an on-the-ground experimental endeavor in flexibility and problem-solving that will benefit many communities that wish to implement similar programs. Read More

November 2010: IMLS Honors 10 Museums and Libraries for Outstanding Community Service
photo of the National Medal

The Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS) has selected five museums and five libraries to receive the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries that make extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental, and social contributions. Read More

October 2010: Attracting a Vietnamese Audience
Two girls play and learn in the Vietnamese Round Boat at Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.

When Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, California, set a goal to boost its overall attendance in a way that matched local demographics, it knew it had to attract a lot more Vietnamese visitors. That’s because San Jose has the largest urban Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. During the museum’s three-year initiative, the staff learned a lot about the Vietnamese community and its internal divisions. Read More

September 2010: Students Know Best When It Comes to Online Homework Help
Students use the Internet to connect with friends and do homework.

The public library systems in New York City were surprised when their award-winning HomeworkNYC.org site was not popular with students. Using an IMLS planning grant to conduct focus groups with students, the libraries discovered that, in the era of social networking, students don’t want another Web site to go to — but they will use a homework help app on a social networking site. Read More

August 2010: Teaching Teens to WATCH the Environment
WATCH teens take a break from their research and experience Elkhorn Slough by kayak

When the Monterey Bay Aquarium sought to expand its environmental education efforts, it found a good match in the Watsonville area near the northeast coast of Monterey Bay. The new Pajaro Valley High School was located in what has become a rarity in coastal California: A wetlands area called a slough. Read More

June 2010: Librarians Learning to Think Outside the Borders
Participants gather for a group photo during the “Thinking Outside the Borders” conference, September 2005.

In this age of instantly accessible information, librarians from all nations find they need to be able to navigate varied resources around the globe. Opportunities to learn how to work with foreign libraries, however, are scarce. Read More

May 2010: Keep It Simple, Doc: How to Build a Consumer Health Portal
Christie Silbajoris, Director of NC Health Info, and participants at the NCHEALINFO exhibit during the annual “Fiesta del Pueblo” in Raleigh, NC.

Health information is a broad category covering many complex topics. When creating a consumer health Web site, it’s more effective to build a directory of trustworthy resources than to point people straight to the most comprehensive source. Read More

April 2010: Speaking Our Language: Preserving the Saginaw Chippewa Dialect
Members of the Ziibiwing Center's Lil' Language Warriors Club

Only a handful of people speak the Ojibway dialect of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. To preserve the language, the tribal museum embarked on a project to digitally record fluent speakers, teach children to speak the language, and produce quarterly community immersion events. Read More

March 2010: In East Texas, the TIDES Bring Digital Resources to Students
Curriculum Development Team teacher Alisa Ripley poses with her 4th grade art class.

To expand its online collection to subject areas beyond local history, the Steen Library at Stephen F. Austin State University in East Texas worked with local teachers – and some in Mexico – to add Hispanic culture and world history resources. Read More

February 2010: Newly Reorganized Archives Benefits Museum, Community
Michelle McKinney, assistant archivist, working on her first processed collection to the storage area.

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience, holds a collection of more than 30,000 artifacts and archival materials. Read More

January 2010: Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) Celebrates 20 Years of Preserving History
Exterior view of the L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley, Maine.

The L.C. Bates Museum is one of 2700 institutions that have received Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) awards during the past 20 years. This article describes the history and accomplishments of the program. Read More

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

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

November 2009: Volunteer Voices: Tennessee’s Rich History Is Collected Online
Volunteer Voices: Tennessee’s Rich History Is Collected Online

Tennessee history abounds with major events. Thousands of documents, photographs, and other items are held throughout the state, but they had never been assembled in one place. Now, with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), researchers and librarians in Tennessee have created volunteervoices.org, a rich online collection of nearly 11,000 documents and photographs about life through the decades in the Volunteer State. Read More

October 2009: Cataloging Histories of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla Tribes
Conservation technician Ryan Ashley and Randall Melton work on collection objects and explain their methods to a group of visitors.

Providing community access to understand how collections are cataloged and handled can have myriad benefits. When the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute created a temporary exhibit in which curators and technicians performed cataloging and preventative conservation work in front of visitors, the results included a deeper understanding of how museums and cultural centers care for collections. Read More

21st Century Skills Profile: Good to Grow Initiative

Good to Grow logo Begun in 2006, Good to Grow! is the Association of Children’s Museums’ nationwide health initiative. A key feature of Good to Grow! is the “Growing Healthy Museums” project. It benefits more than 300 children’s museums that in turn have the potential to engage millions of children and families in making healthy choices. Read More

September 2009: Bringing Books and Literacy to the People
Children participating in a Learn and Play program learn their ABC’s.

Sometimes the parents and children who would most benefit from library services are the ones who haven’t established the habit of visiting libraries. That’s what the Henderson District Public Libraries in Henderson, Nevada, discovered when planning a comprehensive early literacy program involving the whole community. The solution? Bring books and classes to the people. Read More

21st Century Skills Profile: Miami-Dade Public Library

The Miami-Dade County Public Library System embodies the ethic of service to community. It is viewed first and foremost as a community resource – a place where people can get what they need in a trusted setting with experienced, hands-on assistance. Read More

21st Century Skills Profile: Maine Memory Network

A student prepares a historic photograph to be uploaded into the Maine Memory Network. Maine Memory Network (MMN) is a statewide digital museum created out of a partnership between the Maine Historical Society and the Maine State Library to increase public access and engagement with the holdings of historical societies across the state. Read More

21st Century Skills Profile: The Pueblo of Pojoaque Public Library
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The “Raising Readers through Programs and Outreach” initiative illustrates the Pueblo of Pojoaque Public Library’s commitment to a critical community need: basic literacy. Read More

21st Century Skills Profile: The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Skokie, a northern suburb of Chicago, has a current population of 68,000 that has become increasingly diverse over the past 25 years. Forty-two percent of its population is now foreign born and 90 different languages are spoken throughout the community. Read More

21st Century Skills Profile: Skokie Public Library

Skokie, a northern suburb of Chicago, has a current population of 68,000 that has become increasingly diverse over the past 25 years. Forty-two percent of its population is now foreign born and 90 different languages are spoken throughout the community. Read More

21st Century Skills Profile: The New York Hall of Science
profilePromo21Skills sm

The Science Career Ladder (SCL) at the New York Hall of Science is an innovative education, employment, and mentoring program that hires high school and college students. The program employs 150 students as Explainers who are trained to provide the following skills: Exhibition interpretation, Science demonstrations, Orientation, Workshop support, and Visitor interaction. Read More

August 2009: The Healing Powers of Public Gardens
Image of two seniors walking on a garden path

Gardens are good for your health, right? In order to prove this scientifically, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Fla., collaborated with the Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University to create a program targeting a growing demographic: seniors over age 65 who are dealing with depression. A three-year study showed that walking in the gardens significantly reduced depression symptoms and led the museum to create a biannual program of guided-imagery walks. Read More

July 2009: This Library System Means Business
A Technology Trainer teaches a software class to patrons.

To address two workforce training needs in Orlando, Fla.—technical skills and small business smarts—the Orange County Library System created the Grow Your Business program, which offered classroom and online courses in three languages. Read More

June 2009: Encouraging Family Learning in History Museums
A family rests in the hammock, where a sailor in 1812 would have only slept for 4 hours at a time.

The USS Constitution Museum in Boston is opening a new exhibit, “All Hands on Deck: A Sailor’s Life in 1812” to bring to life a sailor's day-to-day existence aboard the world’s oldest commissioned seafaring vessel. Using grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the museum spent more than three years studying what engages school-age visitors and their parents. A Web site allows other museums to adapt the USS Constitution Museum’s experience to their needs. Read More

May 2009: Stuart-Hobson Middle School Discovers and Saves Archival Treasures
Anne-Imelda Radice, IMLS Director, with students from the Stuart-Hobson Middle School.

For decades, irreplaceable PTA scrapbooks, historical school photos, and roll books dating from 1926 to 1967 languished in a little-used room of Capitol Hill’s Stuart-Hobson Middle School. Rediscovered during the 2006 renovation of the school library, the archival treasures shed light on the ethnic and national origins of the families, parents’ occupations, and outbreaks of serious diseases such as scarlet fever. Read More

April 2009: Interns Help Restore Sacred Hawaiian Cloaks
Aimee Ducey, conservation program intern from New York University, removing accretion from the sacred Hawaiian cloak.

The Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii, will exhibit three newly-repaired 'ahu 'ula, sacred feather cloaks worn by male members of the Hawaiian ali’i, or chiefs, when it reopens the renovated Hawaiian Hall in August. Read More

March 2009: KC Science, INC – Inspiring Natural Curiosity In Science
Student participating in a hands-on science activity during a KC Science, INC program.

Several years ago, Kansas City leaders decided to boost future economic growth by developing science and engineering skills in the area’s work force. There was a problem though: Kansas City’s workers and students weren’t very interested in science and engineering. Read More

February 2009: Civil Rights Digital Libraries Enhance Americans’ Understanding of Important Era
In 1962, African American women in Albany, Georgia, are arrested for picketing in front of Albany City Hall and nearby Lane Drugs.

The Civil Rights Digital Library by the University of Georgia in Athens gathers together many of the nation’s civil rights collections through its ambitious Web portal, while the Crossroads to Freedom Digital Library at Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee, uses its hometown collections to stimulate a community conversation on the impact of the civil rights movement on Memphians. Read More

January 2009: PlayWorks™ Provides Whole-family Learning In a Child-friendly Environment
Children participate in PlayWorks™ at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

Children feed alphabet letters to a talking baby dragon, drive a New York City fire truck, paint on a six-foot art wall, and crawl through a challenge course in PlayWorks™ at the Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) in New York. Read More

December 2008: Soldiers’ Children Throng to Literacy Programs of Project ExCELLS
Family partipating in Literacy Program of Project ExCELLS

The nomadic lifestyle of military families can take a toll on children’s education. To boost the school performance of 1,499 elementary school students at Fort Belvoir Military Post in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, three libraries in Fairfax County launched Project ExCELLS. Read More

November 2008: Steve Eases Online Searches of Museum Web Sites
Steve: The Museum Social Tagging Project

For museums seeking greater and more engaged audiences for their online collections, steve.museum may offer some answers. The concept is simple: individuals contribute descriptions about the art (and other collection objects) on museum Web sites using the steve tagger. Read More

October 2008: IMLS Honors 10 Museums and Libraries for Outstanding Community Service
National Medal

Five museums and five libraries have won the 2008 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Read More

September 2008: Florida African American Museum Exchange Builds Alliance to Preserve History
The Afro-American Life Insurance Company in Jacksonville, FL

The Florida African American Museum Exchange (FAAME) is building a robust alliance of African American museums throughout the state of Florida to preserve and present historically significant documents, photos, artifacts, and buildings. Read More

August 2008: 15 Library Schools Share Quality Online Courses via WISE Consortium
WISE students are enriched by new online course opportunities.

Fifteen library and information science schools share high quality, cost-effective, and diverse online courses with each other’s students via the Web-based Information Science Education Consortium, or WISE. Read More

July 2008: Students Win When Tennessee Museums and Schools Partner
Students on a Learning Expedition at the Chattanooga Nature Center dig for fossils

Seven Chattanooga museums, working closely with school principals, teachers, and parents, are using museum collections to enhance and energize the curricula of two museum magnet schools in Magnifying the Museums: Enhancing Chattanooga’s Museum Magnet School Partnership. Read More

June 2008: Tribal Cultural Preservation at the Heart of Three-Year Conference Project
Gordon Yellowman, a Cheyenne Peace Chief, performs a sage blessing at the beginning of the conference, along with his daughter, Cricket.

Native American archivists, librarians, cultural directors, educators, museum staff members, and elders are creating communities to support tribal cultural preservation through a series of national conferences, institutes, and workshops. Read More

May 2008: Teaching Web Site Highlights Gifts of Ancient Mesopotamia
Lamassu, 721 BC - 705 BC..

Students across the country are digging into the secrets of ancient Mesopotamia through a teaching Web site called Ancient Mesopotamia: This History, Our History, which allows students to direct virtual archeological expeditions and curate museum exhibits with the excavated artifacts. Read More

March 2008: Plinkits: Pre-built Library Web Sites that Libraries Love
Screenshots of several Web sites made possible by Plinkit.

Plinkit, which stands for "Public Library Interface Kit," provides small libraries that have little to no web presence with a great Web site and the training necessary to update and maintain it. Read More

February 2008: Brain-Powered Playground Meets Cutting Edge Classroom at OMSI
Students conduct chemistry experiments at OMSI.

One of the winners of the 2007 National Medal for Museum Service, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is part brain-powered playground for kids and adults, part cutting-edge classroom for communities across the state. Read More

January 2008: Lincoln Trail’s PolyTalk Program Speaks Many Languages
PolyTalk poster

In Illinois’ Lincoln Trail Libraries System and beyond, a pioneering new program is putting patrons in touch with people who know their language best and can connect them to the information they need.​ Read More

December 2007: Museum Outreach Program Allows Kids to be Kids
A student from Laurel School participates in an outreach program

To visit Amazement Square is to enter a world where art and adolescence colorfully collide. For the students of Laurel Regional School, who live with severe mental and physical disabilities, it is not your typical field trip. But an IMLS-funded program makes those trips as typical as possible. Read More

November 2007: History and High-tech Intersect on the New Jersey Digital Highway
Bathing Beauties, 1890.

Garden State communities are quickly finding that history and high-tech intersect on the New Jersey Digital Highway, a newly developed web portal that is linking historical institutions around the state and helping to digitize their rich collections. Read More

October 2007: Enduring Communities delivers fresh take on Japanese American experience to history classes
A volunteer leads a group of students on a tour of the Japanese American National Museum. Photo by Don Farber.

Educators in five states are shedding new light on one of the nation’s darkest chapters – the internment of Japanese Americans. Enduring Communities is a three-year project that will incorporate this poignant perspective into public school history curricula. Read More

September 2007: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Bibliographies? Zotero!
Typing on keyboard.

Ask a roomful of librarians to name the most tedious aspect of their work and writing and managing bibliographies will be at the top of the list. Researchers from the Center for History and New Media of George Mason University, funded in part by IMLS, have all but solved this problem with Zotero software.​ Read More

July 2007: Vermont Teachers Dig into the State’s Past, Raise Awareness of Historic Treasures
teachers and volunteers are being taught the basics of field investigation

The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation is using a Partnership for a Nation of Learners grant to recruit pre-school through college teachers and others to help excavate a rare, mid-18th century French settlement in Addison, VT. Read More

June 2007: Girl Scout Troop Discovers Hidden Gems in Conservation Project
Left to right: Meredith, Jordan, Tess, Emily, Leila, Paige, Allison, and Lisa.

By introducing young people to conservation, we help cultivate the next generation of adults who value our nation’s collections and their conservation. With this in mind, IMLS invited Girl Scout Troop 4563 in Arlington, VA, to participate in a conservation project. Read More

May 2007: Omaha Virtual Museum Preserves Omaha Tribe’s Heritage and Culture
“Bert Fremont and Family”, 1910s. Nebraska State Historical Society Photograph Collections. W.L. Jacobs.

The Omaha Virtual Museum collects on its website widely dispersed artifacts, culturally important texts, and photographs of the Omaha tribe. Use of new media is helping the tribe maintain its culture now and for future generations. Read More

April 2007: Manhattan and New Orleans Children’s Museums Offer Mutual Support in Turbulent Times
New Orleans children enjoy block building activities as part of the PlayHelps program.

When disaster struck, the Children's Museum of Manhattan and the Louisiana Children's Museum offered each other much-needed assistance. An encouraging word, a timely donation, and a play-based program forged an enduring bond and created role models for the rest of us. Read More

October 2006: Maine Memory Network
A student prepares a historic photograph to be uploaded into the Maine Memory Network.

A digital museum launched in 2001, the Maine Memory Network is a centralized online gateway to Maine history, provideing Maine’s cultural organizations with the resources they need to share images and items from their own collections. Read More

July 2006: Some Body! at the Hall of Health
Image of students from Hoover Elementary School on a Some Body! field trip

Made possible through IMLS funding, a new field trip program of the Hall of Health educates 10- to 14-year-olds about body image, the consequences of being over- or under-weight, and making healthy food choices. Read More

June 2006: Conservation of Polychrome Sculpture, Blessing Christ
Blessing Christ, before and after. St. Louis Art Museum.

Blessing Christ is one few examples of medieval Spanish sculpture represented in American museum collections. Having not been on view for over 30 years, its condition was extremely fragile, before an IMLS grant enabled the St. Louis Art Museum to stabilize the piece. Read More

May 2006: Sky Camp: Teens Take Wing with Math, Science, and Technology at the Library
Sky Camp particpants pose in front of a state police helicopter.

To succeed in the 21st century the youth of today need skills in math, science, and technology. The Sky Camp project paired middle school teachers with the lifelong learning resources of public libraries to create a year-long educational series, enabling teens’ imaginations to take flight. Read More

April 2006: The Language of Conservation: The Poet in Residence at the Central Park Zoo
Central Park Zoo visitors read poetry while viewing penguins.

The conservation message is challenging for zoos to present quickly and effectively. The Central Park Zoo, an innovator in interpretive concepts for zoos, has turned to poetry in its quest to portray the significance of the earth’s loss of biodiversity. Read More

March 2006: Pratt Museum High School Summer Internship Program
Image of an intern assembling a bear skeleton.

The Pratt Museum's summer internship program is one way that the museum addresses the national need to provide students with national history and science education and provide job opportunities for local teens. Read More

February 2006: K–12 School Library Initiative
Image of a school librarian reading to children. Washington State Library.

The Washington State Library’s K–12 Library Initiative empowers school library staff with leadership skills, and has been the farthest reaching training program ever offered to the state’s school librarians.​ Read More

January 2006: Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust
Screenshot of the Architect Studio 3D Web site

The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust’s Architect Studio 3D is an interactive Web-based activity that enables users to become virtual architects, finding design solutions that meet the needs of virtual clients and virtual building sites Read More

December 2005: IUPUI University Library
The Corn School by Jessie Hull Mayer

Knowing that art can be a powerful teaching tool in the K-12 classroom, the IUPUI University Library sought to provide a value-added resource for education. Read More

November 2005: New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

The towering dinosaur fossil displays, the realistic cave exhibit, and the interactive simulated volcanoes at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science are catalysts for scientific exploration for adults and children alike. Read More

October 2005: State Library and Archives of Florida
Photo of a Native American Woman from the State Library and Archives of Florida

The State Library and Archives of Florida received a rich collection from the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs that was virtually unusable because there were no finding aids for it. Read More

September 2005: Young At Art Children’s Museum
Photo of Young At Art Children's Museum

Homeless children are by most accounts among the fastest growing segments of the homeless population, accounting for 25 percent of the urban homeless population. Read More