The Institute of Museum and Library Service’ Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) supports the agency in its efforts to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.  OPRE is organized to execute three key functions:  policy research, program evaluation and data collection. 

The office is currently managing three evaluations of IMLS programs, the Grants to States Program, Museums for America Program and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.  In addition the office is overseeing four national data collection efforts:  the Public Libraries in the United States Survey, State Library Agency Survey, the Museums Count collections and a national household survey to gauge the use of museums and library services among the American public.

OPRE’s functions are detailed in Section 9108 of the general provisions of the IMLS’ authoring legislation, which states that the policy research, analysis, and data collection shall be conducted in ongoing collaboration (as determined appropriate by the Director), and in consultation, with – (1) State library administrative agencies; (2) national, State, and regional library and museum organizations; (3) other relevant agencies and organizations.

The legislation further states that the policy research, analysis, and data collection shall be used to – (1) identify national needs for and trends in museum, library, and information services; (2) measure and reports on the impact and effectiveness of museum, library, and information services throughout the United States, including the impact of Federal programs authorized under this Act; (3) identify best practices; and (4) develop plans to improve museum, library and information services of the United States and to strengthen national, State, local, regional, and international communications and cooperative networks.

Reseach News:
data.imls.gov homepage Screenshot
New IMLS Data Catalog Enables Creative Use of Library, Museum, Administrative Datasets

February 19, 2015 11:55 AM
The launch of data.imls.gov is a step toward great government openness and transparency. Read More

 
IMLS 2012 Public Libraries Survey Report Issued

January 26, 2015 02:01 PM
The analysis found positive links between investments—particularly in staffing and collections—and public library usage. Read More

 
IMLS Presents Webinar on Museum Universe Data File on October 30

October 2, 2014 12:15 PM
We invite interested museum organizations to participate in the webinar to get an update on what to expect in with the next data file, to ask questions, and to provide input. Read More

 
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Blog Post: IMLS and Open Government Initiatives

February 19, 2015 11:25 AM
The principles of open government are critical to the mission of IMLS. Today’s launch of data.imls.gov will help unlock the power of government data to spur research and innovation. Read More

 
Blog Post: The Museum Universe Data File: A New Release and Update on Progress

December 29, 2014 12:21 PM
The newly released file incorporates feedback from the field and further refinements. Read More

 
Blog Post: Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future

December 5, 2014 02:29 PM
The 28th Annual American Evaluation Association conference covered a range of issues, from statistical methods to processes for making evaluation research more useful for program staff and policymakers. Read More

 
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