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Primary Source Acting Director's Message -- October 2010

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Marsha Semmel
Monday, October 18, 2010

Primary Source
Vol. 12, No. 9; October 2010

I am pleased to let you know that IMLS has just released Connecting to Collections: A Report to the Nation. As many of you are aware, the 2005 IMLS-supported Heritage Health Index provided a comprehensive look at the state of collections held in libraries, museums, archives, scientific organizations and historical societies. The sobering results led IMLS to embark on a multi-year, far-reaching strategy to increase public awareness and inspire action. The many facets and wide-ranging results of Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action are vividly captured in the report. It describes work at the national, state, local and international levels with public and private partners who are fired up with new and renewed interest in caring for collections, and the results are exciting. With data, stories and arresting images, this publication provides vivid documentation of the spirit and energy that we encountered throughout the nation and around the globe, involving thousands of institutions who shared expertise, tapped new resources, and made new connections around best practice in collections stewardship.

This report will be delivered to every member of Congress, policymakers, public and private partners, and the cultural heritage professionals around the world who participated in the initiative. You can download a copy of the publication at

Supporting conservation and preservation remains a core goal of IMLS, and this work will continue in our grants, convenings, and research. The Connecting to Collections work continues in the coming months with a series of Webinars that will explore strategies to engage media, the public, and funders in collections care; and provide useful tips for using Connecting to Collections Bookshelf. We are so pleased to partner with Heritage Preservation, Inc. and the American Association for State and Local History as we continue our conversation on stewardship practice and principles. Registration is open now, and I hope that you will join us!

—Marsha L. Semmel, Acting Director, IMLS

Click here to read the full October 2010 issue of the Primary Source e-newsletter.

IMLS Press Contacts
Mamie Bittner,

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