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IMLS Launches Page on Facebook
Finalists for National Medal show community value of museums and libraries
Washington, DC—On February 14, IMLS officially joined Facebook and ramped up its online presence by launching a social media campaign to celebrate the announcement of 33 finalists for the 2013 National Medals for Museum and Library Service. The agency's page (www.facebook.com/USIMLS) joins other IMLS social media platforms including the UpNext Blog (http://blog.imls.gov) and Twitter (@US_IMLS), The new Facebook page features information about agency grant programs; original blogs, reports and research; press clips and trends relevant to museum and library professionals; activities of the agency's partners; and notices of upcoming deadlines. It also serves as a sounding board for ideas from the field and a forum for grantees and applicants to share ideas and best practices.
This year marks first time IMLS announced finalists for its National Medal for Museum and Library Service program, which is nation's highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for community service. The "Share Your Story" social media campaign focuses on the 33 museums and libraries whose outstanding applications to the 2013 National Medal program earned them the "finalist" designation. The campaign encourages the public to contribute personal stories about the finalist institutions to the Facebook pages of IMLS and the finalists.
While contributions to the "Share Your Story" campaign do not factor into the selection of winners, the initiative has generated enthusiastic participation by members of the public. The IMLS Facebook now features scores of compelling stories and photos from individuals describing the impact of these outstanding libraries and museums in their lives. After just two weeks of the social media initiative, the IMLS Facebook page went from having 200 "likes" to more than 2,000.
IMLS Director Susan Hildreth said, "Using social media is an important way for us to communicate efficiently with large audiences, distribute content quickly, and engage with citizens in a casual, conversational environment. We are excited about the many new stories on our Facebook page and look forward to continuing the conversation with many more members of the public, government agencies, journalists, congressional staff, and museum and library professional associations."
The "Share Your Story" campaign runs through April 3. In the months and years to come we look forward to interacting with the public through the IMLS Facebook page.
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. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.