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About Us


IMLS Vision

A democratic society where communities and individuals thrive with broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning.

IMLS Mission

The mission of IMLS is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. We provide leadership through research, policy development, and grant making.

IMLS Strategic Goals

  1. IMLS places the learner at the center and supports engaging experiences in libraries and museums that prepare people to be full participants in their local communities and our global society.

  2. IMLS promotes museums and libraries as strong community anchors that enhance civic engagement, cultural opportunities, and economic vitality.

  3. IMLS supports exemplary stewardship of museum and library collections and promotes the use of technology to facilitate discovery of knowledge and cultural heritage.

  4. IMLS advises the President and Congress on plans, policies, and activities to sustain and increase public access to information and ideas.

  5. IMLS achieves excellence in public management and performs as a model organization through strategic alignment of IMLS resources and prioritization of programmatic activities, maximizing value for the American public.

Fast Facts

  • There are approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums in the U.S.

  • IMLS supports the full range of libraries, including public, academic, research, special and tribal, and the full range of museums including art, history, science and technology, children’s museums, historical societies, tribal museums, planetariums, botanic gardens and zoos.

  • 169 million people in the U.S. over the age of 14 (69% of the population) are library users.

  • 148 million people in the U.S over the age of 18 visit a museum annually.

Content last reviewed on
October 3, 2017