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IMLS and MacArthur Foundation Announce RFP for Cooperator to Manage National Grant Competition for Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums

Thursday, January 20, 2011


IMLS Press Contacts
Natasha Marstiller,
Mamie Bittner,

MacArthur Foundation Press Contact
Jen Humke,

Deadline February 28, 2011

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced today that they are seeking a cooperating partner to coordinate and manage a national grant competition that will fund the creation of up to 30 learning labs in libraries and museums across the country. 

In support of President Obama's "Educate to Innovate" call to action, MacArthur Foundation and IMLS are working together to create new youth learning labs in libraries and museums across the country. Inspired by an innovative new teen space at the Chicago Public Library called YOUmedia and innovations in science and technology centers, these labs will help young people become makers and creators of content, rather than just consumers of it. The design and construction of YOUMmedia, which was supported through MacArthur’s digital media and learning initiative, was guided by research about the role digital media plays in kids’ learning today. The new labs will be part of a network of museums and libraries throughout the country that use best practice principles, based on research and evidence about how young people learn today.

The Cooperator will manage project components, to include, but not be limited to: providing technical assistance to applicants and awardees; facilitating communication among the network of lab sites; convening grantees; helping to define program outcomes; reporting on the results; creating an evaluation framework; and developing and maintaining on online toolkit of resources.

For more information
RFP and Application Instructions:
Frequently Asked Questions about the Learning Labs Project:
Information on the MacArthur/IMLS Partnership:

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit

Learning Labs