August 31, 2020

$1.2 Million in IMLS CARES Act Grants Awarded for Native American and Native Hawaiian Museum and Library Services
Funds to Assist Indian Tribes, Organizations Serving Native Hawaiians in Responding to COVID-19

Two girls sitting at a desk with laptops. Photo courtesy of the San Mateo Public Libraries.

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the agency’s CARES Act awards totaling $1,200,000 to 15 organizations to support Native American tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations in addressing the challenges of the COVID-19 health emergency.

“The CARES Act mandated a direct and swift response to the steep challenges communities are facing as a result of the pandemic,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “The resulting IMLS CARES Act grants awarded will help tribal libraries and cultural centers adapt to a changing environment by increasing the capacity of their lending programs, support Native American and Native Hawaiian cultural centers and museums that are developing alternative ways for visitors to access collections, and bolster vital community organizations’ work to connect people and do good in a world that is hurting.”

IMLS CARES Act Grants for Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum and Library Services assist Indian Tribes and organizations that primarily serve and represent Native Hawaiians in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. IMLS received 100 applications requesting $9,772,100.

Examples of funded projects include:

  • The Monacan Indian Nation will implement the Museum COVID Response and Sustainability Project to reopen the museum and historic complex to visitors based on health and safety guidelines, promote museum collections and tribal history digitally, and plan for the future growth and accessibility of the museum and tribe’s historic and cultural resources. The project staff will support these goals by creating and implementing a health and safety protocol and creating, producing, and publishing digital content, including a video on a new museum website and other media platforms.

  • The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana will modify open lands adjoining the tribal museum to create innovative outdoor areas and adaptations to existing exhibits to safely reopen the museum. This project will help safely disinfect the museum interior and reduce crowding inside the building by modifying existing exhibits to include both indoor and outdoor elements; developing outdoor work and demonstration areas for tribal artisans; developing new training curriculum for youth to serve as museum guides; installing outdoor hand-washing and safety stations for artisans and visitors; and installing outdoor viewing and seating areas for films and other events.

  • The Zuni Public Library in the Pueblo of Zuni, New Mexico, will help address inequities in digital access that have been made apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic through their Solutions for the Future project. They will expand their program for lending students Internet-accessible computers for home use; create increased online library programming so that activities interrupted by pandemic closures can be facilitated in students’ homes; and offer services to students whose homes are not served by any Internet provider to act as an educational lifeline during school closures.

  • The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon will serve at-risk tribal elders and community members who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by hiring a part-time library aide who will staff a mobile library for elders and others. The tribe also will purchase two laptops to create video stories, as well as eight iPads for a loan program, so more community members can access digital resources. Finally, they will contribute to improving library safety by purchasing plexiglass counter shields for the library, as well as a no-contact book return bin.

IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries will be announced in September. For more information, subscribe to email notifications or visit

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 libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of the San Mateo Public Libraries.

IMLS CARES Act Grants for Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum and Library Services