FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC—Recent flooding in Rhode Island reminds us that everyone needs an emergency plan, including cultural institutions. A Rhode Island consortium will use its Connecting to Collections: Statewide Implementation Grant, announced today by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), to develop tools and training for a statewide disaster plan.
Statewide implementation grants were offered for the first time this year to support activities identified through Connecting to Collections: Statewide Planning Grants. Planning grants have been offered for three years, and today, IMLS announced 14 new planning grants to foster networks among organizations in a state, commonwealth, or territory to provide safe conditions for its collections, develop emergency plans, assign responsibility for collections care, and marshal public and private support for collections care. This brings the total number of states and territories participating in the planning grants to 56. Both of these programs are part of the IMLS Connecting to Collections initiative designed to help libraries, museums and archives address issues identified in the Heritage Health Index (HHI), a report on the dire state of the nation’s collections. The HHI survey, conducted by Heritage Preservation with IMLS support, found that 80 percent of collecting institutions did not have an emergency plan for their collections or trained staff to carry it out, and approximately 190 million objects could be lost in just a few short years without immediate attention.
In addition to Rhode Island, IMLS funded the implementation of plans in California, Connecticut, Delaware, and North Carolina to train professionals in museums, libraries, and archives to care for collections that are important to their communities. The implementation grants total $1,207,340, with matching funds of $576,749.
"We support Rhode Island’s emergency preparedness project, which the state’s museums, archives, and libraries are undertaking despite tremendous challenges created by the recent flooding. Dealing with this real-life natural disaster will hopefully enable the state’s cultural institutions to address future emergency situations," said Marsha L. Semmel, IMLS acting director. "These first statewide implementation grants will test new models and best practices for collaborative conservation and preservation projects. We are pleased that all 50 states and most of the territories are now participating in the program."
Partner institutions in 14 state consortiums will receive planning grants totaling $540,080, matched with $242,907 of non-federal funds, to foster networks among organizations in a state, commonwealth, or territory to provide more secure conditions for collections and marshal public and private support for collections care. Grantees include one museum association, five state libraries, one historical society, a state agency that oversees museums and libraries, and six universities and service organizations. Each of the principal grantees has several partner organizations. Click here to view the winners of this year’s planning and implementation grants.
For more information, please visit: http://www.imls.gov/collections/grants/planning.htm. IMLS intends to issue additional implementation grants to statewide planning grantees in 2011.
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 www.imls.gov.