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District of Columbia
The Grants to States Program
The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan (see below). For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.
“The needs and interests of our unusually diverse population continue to guide our agenda and outreach for new partnerships. Early and adult literacy initiatives, aiding Job Seekers, providing technology and digital access through the award-winning Digital Commons at the soon-to-be-renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Central Memorial Library, and funding innovative and creative projects through our sub-grant program are all top priorities.”
--Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Executive Director, District of Columbia Public Library
The Grants to States Program
The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan. For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.
More than just a computer lab, Digital Commons at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is a gathering space for digital collaboration, digital literacy, and innovation. LSTA funds supported the majority of technology purchases for Digital Commons including computers, software, 3-D printers, SMART boards, a book machine, and a video phone for use by customers with auditory challenges. Digital Commons also features the Dream Lab, a collaborative space for entrepreneurs with designated conference rooms, SMART boards and video conferencing capability. Since its opening, Digital Commons has hosted more than 200 technology trainings and serves as a full-service digital experience that includes content (e-readers and laptops), creation (book machine and 3-D printer), and collaboration (the Dream Lab).
IMLS Funds: $87,892
Reading for College, Ready for College
Reading for College, Ready for College helped prepare high school graduates for the rigors of college academics, particularly for students facing significant personal and academic challenges. Although Thurgood Marshall Academy has a 100 percent college acceptance rate, many graduates are first-generation college students and are apprehensive about the trials that their college careers may bring. As part of the project, all seniors (61) completed a senior seminar and an academic library orientation portfolio project in which they gave formal presentations before a panel of faculty, staff, administrators, parents, community members, and other students. These student projects also provided an opportunity to make use of online resources and databases. The seniors took a fall tour to two university campuses, and 87 juniors toured one university campus in the spring.
IMLS Funds: $20,000
Other project(s) featured through IMLS media include:
- Stuart-Hobson Middle School’s Preserving Stuart-Hobson’s Past project: Stuart-Hobson Middle School Discovers and Saves Archival Treasures
Search the Awarded Grants Database for additional details about awards in this state.
Five-Year Plan Highlights
General Services and Initiatives
- Ensure that all District residents have the reading skills, the information resources and the library services they need to succeed in school, at work, and in their daily lives.
- Encourage adult book discussion groups at neighborhood libraries.
- Ensure that all District residents are able to locate and access library and information services and resources that are relevant to their lives through the provision of traditional reading materials, non-print media, online tools, and electronic networks.
- Grow the Library’s physical collection.
- Offer practice GED tests through the Adult Literacy Resource Center and continue to provide tutoring space for persons who want to prepare for the GED.
- Continue to offer English language conversation circles through the Adult Literacy Resource Center to help improve English skills for new U.S. residents, as well as A Feel for Books, a book discussion series for adult learners.
- Support early literacy and family literacy with funding. Encourage adult book discussion groups at neighborhood libraries.
- Support homework help (Tutor.com) with funding.
Access to E-Resources
- Support online database licensing and world language collections through LSTA.
- Grow the library’s e-collections.
- Build the digitization and preservation efforts of the library’s Special Collections through LSTA funds, including the many records and other documents that tell the history of the nation’s capital.
Economic and Employment Development
- Ensure that all District residents have the knowledge, skills and tools they need to acquire productive and fulfilling employment.
- Continue to monitor the Job Seekers program to ensure that residents’ needs are being met.
- Continue to hire teens through the Teens of Distinction and Youth Summer Employment programs and train them in library work and the skills and behaviors that are expected in the workplace
- Ensure that library staff have the knowledge, skills and competencies needed to offer high-quality 21st century library services.
- Support library leadership programs and conferences for staff through LSTA.
- Ensure that staff members receive technology training.
- Ensure that all District residents expand their involvement in community life as a result of participation in library-based programs.
- Encourage the use of library facilities for meetings of community groups.
- Encourage programs that address local needs at the neighborhood libraries.
- Pursue One Book/One Community for a variety of community programs
Special Services for Special Needs
- Continue to provide assistive technology for persons with visual impairment or other physical disabilities through Adaptive Services, including instruction in the use of the equipment; Braille books; audio books; and mail delivery of books and other materials for the homebound.
IMLS Data Collection
State Library Survey
The State Library Agency Survey (SLAA) provides descriptive data about state library agencies for all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
Public Library Survey
The Public Library Survey (PLS) provides national descriptive data on the status of public libraries in the United States and its territories. Data are collected from over 9,000 public library systems with over 17,000 public library outlets. Read District of Columbia's profile (PDF, 341 KB) from the most recent PLS publication.