FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC—President Obama has requested $231,953,777 for fiscal year 2013 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), an amount equal to the agency’s current funding. IMLS inspires libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. This is the first budget request for the agency since the adoption of its new five-year strategic plan.
"This budget helps museums and libraries level the playing field for the people of the United States," said Susan Hildreth, director of IMLS. "IMLS is the federal voice for libraries and museums. With this budget we will continue to provide leadership through grantmaking research and policy development. Especially in our information age, libraries and museums are not luxuries; they are fundamental to supporting a democratic society where communities and individuals thrive with broad access to lifelong learning."
The President requested $184,704,000 for the nation’s 123,000 libraries. Of that amount, approximately 85 percent ($156.3 million) is distributed through the Grants to States program to the State Library Administrative Agencies in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and freely associated states, according to a population-based formula. These grants help libraries meet community needs, use technology to develop new service models and reach underserved populations. Library funding also supports the following programs:
- National Leadership Grants, which support creation of new tools, research, models, services, practices, or alliances to shape tomorrow’s libraries
- Native American and Native Hawaiian Library Services Grants to support improved access to library services for Native Americans, Alaska Native Villages, and Native Hawaiians
- Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grants, which build the professional capacity of libraries by improving staff knowledge and skills
In support of the nation’s 17,500 museums, the President requested $30,859,000 for the following grant programs:
- Museums for America, a program that strengthens museums as active resources for lifelong learning and as community assets.
- National Leadership Grants, which support creation of new tools, research, models, services, practices, or alliances to shape tomorrow’s museums. This funding also supports institutional assessments.
- The Native American and Native Hawaiian Museum Services program, which enables Native American tribes, Alaska Native villages or corporations, and organizations that primarily serve Native Hawaiians to benefit their communities and audiences through strengthened museum services.
- The Museum Grants for African American History and Culture program, which builds professional capacity in the African American museum community.
The mission and activities of the Conservation Project Support grant program, to help museums identify conservation needs and priorities and perform activities to ensure the safekeeping of their collections, is combined with the Museums for America program under this request. Similarly, the work of the 21st Century Museum Professionals program, to support projects that address the preparation of museum professionals for the future by updating and expanding their knowledge and skills, is part of the National Leadership Grant program for museums. These changes will make it easier for applicants to choose funding categories that relate to their institutional priorities.
The President’s budget provides $1,886,000 million in continued support for research and policy activities, including funding for the Public Library Survey and the State Library Agency Survey. In 2011, IMLS released the following:
- FY09 Public Libraries Survey, which includes national and state summary data on public libraries in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with an introduction, selected findings, and several tables.
- Supporting Museums – Serving Communities: An Evaluation of the Museums for America Program
IMLS’s research arm is currently managing two additional evaluations of IMLS programs, the Grants to States Program and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. In addition the office is overseeing the Museums Count collections survey and a national household survey to gauge the use of museums and library services among the American public.
The agency’s Congressional Justification and a detailed table of President Obama’s budget request for IMLS with recent budget history accompanies this release.
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.