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IMLS Announces $18.2 Million Investment in U.S. Library Initiatives

July 23, 2020

IMLS Announces $18.2 Million Investment in U.S. Library Initiatives
Federal Awards to Fund Lifelong Learning, Digital Inclusion, Collections Access, Library Training Programs

The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 70 grants totaling $18,256,177 to support libraries across the country. The awards were made through the FY 2020 National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. The awarded grants search on the IMLS website contains a complete list of grantees and project descriptions.

“These award recipients demonstrate the library field’s dedication to furthering successful community programs as well as developing staff at all career levels,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “Through programs addressing emergency planning, career development, and expanded public platforms, these organizations are increasing public access to library information and resources and building capacity in the library and archives fields.”

National Leadership Grants for Libraries support projects that address significant challenges and opportunities facing the library and archives fields and have the potential to advance theory and practice with new tools, research findings, models, services, practices, or alliances that will be widely used. The National Leadership Grants for Libraries program received 155 preliminary proposals requesting $40,299,262. Eighty-one projects were invited to submit full proposals, and of these, 38 projects were awarded $9,986,563, including:

  • The Ypsilanti District Library, in partnership with the Library of Michigan and the Midwest Collaborative Library, will scale their early literacy text messaging service, TALK: Text and Learn for Kindergarten, to reach parents of children birth through five years old across Michigan and Indiana. TALK is designed to empower parents to improve their child's school readiness by sending texts with activity suggestions that parents can do with their children.

  • Florida State University will partner with the State Library of Florida, the Panhandle Library Area Network, COSLA, PLA, emergency management officers, and national disaster experts to explore existing library disaster preparedness, response, and recovery for small and rural public libraries throughout Florida and the nation. Their goal is to develop community-centered, multi-disciplinary, smart, and connected disaster models informed by librarians and geographic information system analyses to strengthen small and rural libraries’ capacity to prepare library personnel to meet local needs and safeguard library resources.

  • The University of Wisconsin Law Library, in partnership with the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians, the UW Law School Great Lakes Indigenous Law Center, the National Indian Law Library, and the Open Law Library, will develop The Digital Publication of Tribal Laws Pilot Project. The project will develop an open law library platform that will empower libraries to improve access to tribal laws published into the public domain and will demonstrate the benefits of the combined platforms for tribes, their members, academia, the legal profession, and the public by creating a fully-functional tribal legal ecosystem.

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program supports developing a diverse workforce of library and archives professionals to better serve the changing learning and information needs of the American public by enhancing the training and professional development of librarians, developing faculty and library leaders, and recruiting and educating the next generation of librarians. The program received 113 preliminary proposals requesting $31,072,018, and 60 of these were invited to submit full proposals. IMLS is awarding $8,269,614 to 32 projects, including:

  • The Black Caucus of the American Library Association will organize a one-day pre-conference event to strengthen support for Black/African American MLIS students. The forum will precede the 2020 National Conference for African American Librarians and will produce a toolkit of resources for librarians and educators to recruit Black/African American librarians, and an online, program-independent iBlackCaucus student group. The project has the potential to provide the communication and resources necessary to support Black librarians early in their careers.

  • Montana State University will develop an open-access, culturally relevant, and responsive curriculum for school librarian preparation programs with an emphasis on Indigenous perspectives and, using this curriculum, will recruit, train, and support school library professionals in Alaska and Montana. Montana State University will redesign its master’s level Library Media Certificate curriculum to align with best practices for culturally relevant education, including infusing Indigenous perspectives as well as continuing to meet national Library Media Specialist Preparation Standards.

  • The University of Maryland iSchool will pilot an online national collaborative network of educators and practitioners to enable the sharing and dissemination of computational case studies and lesson plans through an open source, cloud-based interactive platform based on Jupyter Notebooks. This project focuses on participants who have a master’s-level education in order to target the professional development of future practitioners across the nation. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the development of faculty and library digital leaders.

Visit the IMLS website for more information about the National Leadership Grants for Libraries and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian programs.

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: 
Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program
National Leadership Grants for Libraries