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President Requests $242,605,000 for Institute of Museum and Library Services

Monday, February 14, 2011


IMLS Press Contacts

Natasha Marstiller,
Mamie Bittner,

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.

Library Programs

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.

Museum Programs

For IMLS museum programs, the President requested $32,318,000 for the following grant programs:

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:

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