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National Initiatives & Partnerships

The Community Catalyst Initiative will help libraries and museums develop a deeper understanding of their role as enablers of community vitality and co-creators of positive community change.

The Community Salute program is an initiative to study how libraries and museums are responding to the needs of veterans and military families. The findings from the initial study will be used to develop new strategies on how libraries and museums can further engage with communities to support this important population.

Open eBooks is an app containing thousands of popular and award-winning titles that are free for children from low-income households. These eBooks can be read without checkouts or holds.

The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and IMLS are working together to highlight effective practices and encourage additional collaboration between the workforce investment system and public libraries.

The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and IMLS are partnering with the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers on the National Student Poets Program, the country’s highest honor for youth poets whose original work exhibits exceptional creativity, dedication to craft, and promise.

The National Medal honors outstanding institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Selected institutions demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach.

Formerly Coming Up Taller, these awards recognize and support outstanding community arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America’s young people by providing them with learning opportunities and chances to contribute to their communities.

IMLS and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services are working together to help libraries provide accurate and useful information about immigration and citizenship benefits, promote an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensure the integrity of the immigration system.

IMLS is a National Community Sponsor of the National STEM Video Game Challenge. The Challenge, now in its third year, was inspired by President Obama’s "Educate to Innovate" Campaign, promoting science, technology, engineering and math education.

Each year, select museums and libraries receive the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for these institutions. Beginning with the 2009 winners, personal stories demonstrating the ongoing impact of these award-winning institutions are being documented through a cooperative agreement between IMLS and StoryCorps.

Museums for All is a cooperative initiative between IMLS and the Association of Children’s Museums to offer a signature access program that encourages families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits.

In recognition of the role that museums and libraries play in early learning, the Institute of Museum and Library Services is supporting projects that further the goals the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, including school readiness, summer reading loss, and chronic school absence.

Full participation in American society requires the ability to access and use digital content and technologies. Libraries, businesses, hospitals, schools, cultural institutions, community technology centers and local governments are community anchors that can create and sustain access to broadband technologies.

IMLS is partnering with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to better understand how museums and libraries are working to support comprehensive community revitalization. Through this partnership, IMLS will analyze existing cases and report back on best practices and strategies for successful museum-library and community collaborations fostering revitalization.

The Digging into Data Challenge aims to address how "big data" changes the research landscape for the humanities and social sciences.

In support of President Obama's "Educate to Innovate" call to action, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services are working together to create 30 new youth learning labs in libraries and museums across the country.

IMLS and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are partnering to develop financial education tools and share best practices with the public library field.