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FAQs on FY 2019 IMLS Operations and the President's FY 2020 Budget Request

Is IMLS closed?

No, IMLS remains open. The agency continues to operate and will do so until an FY 2020 budget is enacted by Congress. Our FY 2019 operations remain unchanged.

Will IMLS continue to make grants?

We will continue to make FY 2019 awards and honor all obligated grant funds. Payments to grantees and contractors will also continue in accordance with the terms and conditions of the grant or contract.

FY 2019 Notice of Funding Opportunities will continue to be posted on, and IMLS will continue its normal review process for current applications. You may view our open grants here.

What does the budget request mean for IMLS?

The request proposes that Congress eliminate funding for several independent agencies, including IMLS. The budget proposal requests only enough funding to cover IMLS administrative expenses for an orderly shutdown of the agency beginning in FY 2020, October 1, 2019. 

The President’s FY 2020 budget request is the first step in a long process. Here’s a flowchart that illustrates this.

Can IMLS advocate for its budget?

As an Executive Branch agency, IMLS reports to the President and his administration, and may not engage in advocacy activities.

How does IMLS communicate about its work?

IMLS communicates about the agency’s vital role in serving America’s museums, libraries, and their communities. The agency continues to:

  • Post information on that tells the story of how IMLS grants are making an impact across America;
  • Share materials with the media, partners, and general public;
  • Respond to requests from Members of Congress and their staff.

How can IMLS partners or grantees talk about the value of IMLS?

IMLS grantees and partners may educate others about the role and impact of IMLS by crediting the agency for any funded grants, or by sharing stories of IMLS grants:

  • On any materials that describe a project funded by IMLS;
  • On signage at an event or in a venue that promotes an IMLS-funded project;
  • In local media stories or op-eds;
  • By linking to IMLS materials on their website;
  • On Twitter with @US_IMLS and #IMLSgrant and by tagging IMLS on Facebook.

How can I find out more about IMLS grants?

As the primary source of federal funding for museums and libraries, IMLS grants make a difference in communities of all sizes, from rural to urban, in every U.S. state and territory. IMLS ensures public library services for all Americans, helps preserve the heritage of our nation, and provides critical funding for literacy and workforce development programs. IMLS achieves this with a small budget of $242 million, very low administrative overhead, and a track record of congressionally recognized excellence. 

Finding Information on Data and IMLS Grants is a walkthrough to finding information about our awarded grants and data collection activities. The Awarded Grants Search, Grant Spotlights, and the IMLS blog are available as resources.

You may also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for our newsletter, Primary Source, and the latest updates via email.

I have additional questions. How can I get in touch?

Please contact the IMLS Office of Communications at 202-653-4757 or with any questions or comments. You may also reach us on Twitter and Facebook.