September 18, 2015


IMLS Press Contact
Giuliana Bullard, 202-653-4799

IMLS Hosts 2015 Focus Conference in New Orleans November 16 and 17

Conference to highlight agency priorities, showcase IMLS grantees' work, and explore the latest issues in museums and libraries. 

WASHINGTON, DC – The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will hold a conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 16-17 that will bring together grantees, potential applicants, and professionals working in museums, libraries, archives, and cultural heritage organizations to discuss trends, successful IMLS-funded projects and initiatives, and the collective impact of museums and libraries across the country. Each day of the conference will be structured with both plenary sessions and panels on various issues.

Registration is limited to two people per organization. To register, go to the IMLS Focus Conference website. To join the 2015 IMLS Focus conversation, use the Twitter hashtag #IMLSFocus, and connect with IMLS on Twitter: @US_IMLS and Facebook: USIMLS

Panel presentations will cover components of community engagement, engaging learners, collections and digital access. An agenda for the November 16 – 17 conference is available on the IMLS Focus Conference website

Topics that will be explored include:

  • library and museum support for workforce and economic development
  • Rethinking the user experience
  • Tools, resources, and networks for making, tinkering, and participatory learning
  • Harnessing the collective wisdom of the crowd to generate content
  • Innovative technology in collections care

Keynote Speakers:

Constance M. Yowell is the visionary and CEO of Collective Shift. In her recent position as director of education at the MacArthur Foundation, she oversaw a $150 million program on digital media and learning, one of the first philanthropic efforts in the country to systematically explore the impact of digital media on young people and implications for the future of learning. Previously, Yowell was an associate professor at the University of Illinois, publishing scholarly work that examines the complex interplay among young people’s emerging identity, their social context and achievement. Yowell has worked with the National Writing Project to develop approaches that integrate web 2.0 technologies into the social practices of teachers.

Dan Cohen is the founding executive director of the Digital Public Library of America, which brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, making them freely available to the world. Until 2013, Cohen was a professor of History in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University and the director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. He oversaw projects ranging from PressForward to the September 11 Digital Archive to the popular Zotero research tool. Cohen is also the co-author of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web, author of Equations from God: Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith, and co-editor of Hacking the Academy.

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 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.