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IMLS Holds 21st Century Skills Workshop at the San Francisco Public Library

Thursday, November 4, 2010


IMLS Press Contacts
Natasha Marstiller,
Mamie Bittner, 

IMLS’s Making the Learning Connection Campaign Brings Together Leading Local Institutions  

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is holding a workshop at the San Francisco Public Library on November 4 as part of a national campaign aimed at engaging museums, libraries, and civic leaders in meeting the 21st century learning needs of their communities. Additional hosts include the Exploratorium and the San Francisco Arts Commission. 

The national campaign, Making the Learning Connection, is intended to assist communities as they build their capacity for helping individuals of all ages acquire critical 21st century skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration. The campaign includes an eight-city workshop tour, a national contest, new online tools and resources, and a series of interactive webinars.

The eight-city tour kicked off on June 21 at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and continued with a workshop at the Richland County Public Library in Columbia, SC on August 20. The tour provides an opportunity for museum, library, and other community leaders to discuss the 21st century learning landscape of their city and explore strategies for furthering 21st century learning goals.

"Libraries and museums are keenly focused on the challenges their communities face and will create powerful foundations for implementing and sustaining a community-wide vision for 21st century skills," said Marsha L. Semmel, IMLS acting director. "At IMLS, we are pleased to support institutions across the country that are focused on helping learners of all ages acquire critical 21st century skills."

The Making the Learning Connection campaign is part of IMLS’s continuing initiative to engage libraries and museums, community stakeholders and policymakers to meet the educational, economic, civic, and cultural needs of communities. This campaign builds upon the release of Museums, Libraries and 21st Century Skills (PDF, 2.0MB), which provides an online self-assessment for libraries and museums to encourage a strategic approach to 21st century learning and a report for library and museum practitioners and policymakers.

Workshop participants leave each session with a better understanding of the role museums and libraries play in the learning landscape. Participants will also begin drafting a map that documents some of the work currently being done in the community around 21st century skills.   

In the coming months, IMLS will announce the other workshop tour stops, dates for webinars, and contest details.

To learn more about 21st century skills, please listen to Semmel’s podcast.


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