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Primary Source Director's Message -- August 2011

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IMLS Director Susan Hildreth
Monday, August 15, 2011

Nearly 1,400 of you participated in our "virtual town hall" during the last four weeks! Last month, we launched a social media tool called "IdeaScale" to get public input to help shape the IMLS strategic plan. While we know that rapid changes are stressing our communities and our institutions, a browse through the many ideas that were shared demonstrate the resilience, optimism and public value of libraries and museums.

Your comments were passionate and inspiring. Libraries and museums are clearly mission focused organizations that want to know the best ways to meet public needs. Among the ideas that floated to the top of the list were calls for sharing best practices, working in partnership and creating a culture of planning and evaluation. The role of libraries and museums in supporting early learning and indeed lifetime learning was crystal clear. The ideas were forward looking from a focus on using the most effective means to preserve unique collections to moving to electronic formats and using broadband technology to meet community needs.

It is clear that libraries and museums are leaders in their communities and that they are innovating to develop new service models to support education, workforce development and civic leadership.

Although the site can no longer accept new comments, we are keeping the results accessible on our website and encourage you to visit Your voice is important to us and we will continue to use social media tools to support important national dialogues. Later this month we will launch UpNext, the IMLS blog, which will provide a new platform to continue the conversation.

—Susan Hildreth, Director, IMLS

Strategic Planning