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$166 Million Invested in Libraries Across America

February 20, 2020

$166 Million Invested in Libraries Across America
Largest Source of Federal Funding for Library Services Reaches Every State, Territory

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services released its FY 2020 allotment table for 59 State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs), totaling $166,803,000. These annual grants to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories represent the largest source of federal funding support for library services in the United States. This year, IMLS incorporated three freely associated states in the program for the first time: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau.

Grants to States funding supports a variety of innovative and infrastructural projects that respond to the purposes and priorities outlined in the Library Services and Technology Act:

  • In Indiana and California, libraries are using emerging technology to help caregivers measure the number of words spoken daily to their children, as a starting point for early literacy education and kindergarten readiness. In Indiana, 75 percent reported engaging with their child more frequently, and in California, 80 percent reported talking more with their child.
     
  • In New Jersey, the Talking Book and Braille Center provides no-cost, home delivered services to the state’s print-disabled population. Through partnerships, the Center offers specific assistive technology outreach to veterans that enriches their quality of life and helps them reengage with the outside world.
     
  • In Ohio, a library partnered with their police department and literacy experts to connect police officers and at-risk middle school students. The two groups worked both separately and together to create a series of poems that were later performed for the community in City Hall. By taking them out of their comfort zones, the workshop became an equalizer and fostered trust.
     
  • In Minnesota, a library built relationships between its staff and the local Somali community by hosting events within and beyond the library walls. The events introduced relevant library services to the community, including job search services, support for academic achievement, legal resources, and children’s literacy programs. In one year, nearly 800 community members attended the events and 181 new library cards were issued.

The agency’s Grants to States program allocates a base amount to each of the SLAAs plus a supplemental amount based on population. These federal funds supplement, rather than replace, state funding for existing state library services, and the program assures local involvement through financial matching requirements. The newly released allotment table identifies both the 66 percent federal and the 34 percent state match share for each SLAA.

To find out more about how funds are used in your state, visit the state profile pages.

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 www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Programs: 
LSTA State Grants