Washington, DC—President Obama has requested $242,605,000 for fiscal year 2012 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
"Rapid societal shifts are challenging museums and libraries to reinvent themselves. With this budget, IMLS is rigorously examining all of its grant programs, research, and leadership initiatives to ensure that every dollar is helping libraries and museums meet this challenge," said Susan Hildreth, director of IMLS. "In a world where the ability to access and use information is essential to competitiveness, IMLS must help frontline institutions use new technology, adapt services to meet the needs of today’s information seekers, and work in partnership with a host of community organizations."
The years ahead will be critical ones for the nation’s libraries and museums; strategic leadership is needed to shape programs and services to most effectively meet community needs. The reauthorization of the Museum and Library Services Act of 2010 passed with broad bi-partisan support in Congress and signed by President Obama on December 23, 2010, provides an important roadmap for the work ahead and emphasizes education; economic, community and workforce development; civic engagement; and many other national priorities.
The President requested $193,223,000 for IMLS library programs. Of that amount, approximately 84 percent ($161.3 million) is distributed to the 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 to 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 that build the professional capacity of libraries by improving staff knowledge and skills.
For IMLS museum programs, the President requested $32,318,000 for the following grant programs:
- Museums for America, a program that strengthens museums as active resources for lifelong learning and as community assets.
- The 21st Century Museum Professionals program, which supports projects that address the preparation of museum professionals for the future by updating and expanding their knowledge and skills.
- The Conservation Project Support program, which helps museums identify conservation needs and priorities and perform activities to ensure the safekeeping of their collections.
- National Leadership Grants to support creation of new tools, research, models, services, practices.
- The Conservation Assessment Program and the Museum Assessment Program are now incorporated under National Leadership Grants.
- 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.
Research and Data Collection
The President’s budget includes $1,934,000 for research and policy activities, including funding for the Public Library Survey, the State Library Agency Survey and Museums Count. Recent studies include:
- Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries
Estimates that 77 million people used library computers and Internet connections in 2009; top uses includes searches to meet workforce, education, health and government information needs.
- State Library Agency Service Trends: 1999–2008
Describes how state libraries are helping public libraries transform library service and embrace new technology to meet the information needs of the American public.
- Service Trends in Public Libraries 1997- 2007 demonstrates that the availability of Internet services has not diminished the need for public libraries. The study documents a steady increase in use of libraries over the past ten years.
- Connecting to the World's Collections: Making the Case for the Conservation and Preservation of our Cultural Heritage
A series of practical recommendations to ensure optimal collections conservation worldwide, gathered from sixty cultural heritage leaders from thirty-two countries, including representatives from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America, Australia, Europe, and North America.
- Connecting to Collections: A Report to the Nation
Offers solutions for libraries, museums and archives that hold endangered collections and issues a call to action for public-private partnership to save collections for future generations.
- Museums, Libraries and 21st Century Skills
A roadmap for creating libraries and museums that can deliver 21st century skills using 21st century methods.
- The Future of Museums and Libraries: A Discussion Guide
A concise synthesis of two-days of discussion by the nation’s leading voices in library and museum services that encourages new thinking about institutional roles, community engagement and a vision for the future.
The IMLS FY2012 Congressional Justification and a detailed table of President Obama’s budget request (PDF, 57KB) 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.