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The Grants to States Program
The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan (see below). For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.
“The Library of Virginia strives to strengthen public libraries and library staff, enhancing their capacity to promote lifelong learning and foster strong, healthy, and vibrant communities. Using new technologies in innovative ways, we facilitate open access to information and encourage the public’s discovery and understanding of our rich history and diverse cultural heritage. Gathering data about our work and using that data to improve our services and resources underlies all of our projects and activities.”
-- Sandra Treadway, Librarian of Virginia, Library of Virginia
In School, Out of School
A partnership between the Library of Virginia, Virginia State Parks and the Science Museum of Virginia provided 135 libraries with four nature backpacks each. The backpacks help families learn about nature in their backyards, local parks, and Virginia's 36 state parks. Each backpack can be checked out and comes with a parking pass that allows the library customer to visit any Virginia State Park at no cost. Backpacks contain pocket guides to bugs and slugs, animal tracks, Virginia birds and mammals, and Virginia trees and wildflowers. They are also equipped with a port-a-bug field observation container; a magnifying lens; a dip net; and laminated sheets with suggested activities designed by Virginia State Parks and the Science Museum of Virginia. This project is made possible with federal funds provided through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and through generous contributions from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Science Museum of Virginia.
IMLS funds: $247,869
Information Technology Support
The Yearbook Digitization Project from LVA’s Library Development and Networking Division allows people to now browse yearbooks online from high schools across Virginia. Funded by the Library Services and Technology Act, the collection currently includes 1,647 yearbooks dating from 1912 to 1977. The idea for the project began in 2012 after the division loaned scanners and other equipment to Virginia public libraries for digitizing their local history collections. Library staff members noticed that high school yearbooks made up the bulk of the scanning, but the libraries didn’t have a good way to make them available to the public. Since then, LVA has coordinated the scanning of yearbooks from 29 public libraries and its own collections. The yearbooks are available online through the Internet Archive and the Lyrasis digitization collaborative. While most of the digitized yearbooks came from public library collections, some were donated or loaned for scanning by school alumni groups, historical societies, and individuals. This project provides the infrastructure and technical support for all Library of Virginia digital collections, which includes related staff, technical support, telecommunications, maintenance, and software licenses.
IMLS Funds: $538,030
Crowd Sourcing and User Engagement
The Library of Virginia (LVA), like many cultural heritage institutions, believes crowdsourcing empowers communities to make their own history. LVA leveraged advancements in open source transcription tools and peer-developed projects by inviting the public to be partners in making their collections more visible and accessible. The cornerstone of this initiative is Making History: Transcribe, a collaborative online workspace where the public can help expand access to collections documenting Virginia's history, people, and culture. The library partners with HandsOn Greater Richmond to host in-person, monthly group Transcribe-A-Thons. They also run ad hoc events with public libraries and schools and coordinate volunteers, who work solo at home. Participants dig deep into collections and transcribe historical materials from five to 10 active projects at a time. From peace to wartime, court records to letters home, and conspiracies to political statements, there is something for everyone.
IMLS Funds: $140,251
Review recent Grants to States projects from this state library in the State Program Report database.
Search the Awarded Grants Database for additional details about awards in this state.
View the IMLS funding by state report - Virginia (PDF 1.04 MB) with additional information about all IMLS funding for this state (FY 2011 – FY 2016).
Five-Year Plan Highlights
Goal 1: Foster the development of the evolving neighborhood/ community library as a center for lifelong learning and civic engagement.
- Projects include:
- School Readiness: Provide services and programming to help children develop skills that will prepare them for success in kindergarten.
- Address the learning and wellness needs of youth and teens over the summer when normal school year resources are no longer available.
Goal 2: Facilitate access to information and the discovery of knowledge and cultural heritage for the purpose of cultivating an informed and engaged community.
- Projects include:
- Cultural Heritage Access and Engagement (CHAE): Encourage user engagement with cultural heritage materials and government records in interesting and flexible ways.
- Electronic Records and Open Data (EROD): Develop new tools, services, and programs that enhance user access to the public electronic records of state government.
- Interlibrary Loan (ILL): Facilitate access to the Library of Virginia’s unique published materials related to Virginia history and culture and its vast microfilm collection.
- Information Technology Services (ITS): Respond proactively to technology needs and address issues that arise unexpectedly to ensure public access to all of the Library’s resources.
- Find It Virginia (FIVA): A suite of products that enables users to find magazine and newspaper articles, encyclopedias and many other reference works.
- Wordpress Hosted Library Sites: Allow all libraries, big and small, to develop a professional-looking Web site that gives patrons quick access to resources.
- Virginia Evergreen Libraries Consortium (EVLC): Provide Evergreen, an affordable open source integrated library system, to public libraries in Virginia.
- Community Based Digital Projects (CBDP): Provide public libraries with the resources and knowledge to make their local cultural heritage collection materials available online.
- Document Bank of Virginia (DBANK): A collection of some of the most important documents in the history of Virginia from the Library’s vast collection.
- Genealogy Education (GE): Develop an ongoing relationship with researchers interested in tracing family and community history through workshops and conferences.
- Lifelong Learning (LLP): Support lifelong learning by designing and implementing programs that encourage interaction and engagement with specific subjects.
- Newspaper Project (NP): Expand the scope of the Library’s existing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).
Goal 3: Support the training and development of proactive library leadership and skilled staff to meet the rapidly changing environment.
- Projects include:
- Provide training and professional development to enhance the skills of library workforce.
- Provide training to enhance skills and meet the rapidly changing environment of community needs.
- Provide software applications for the collection, evaluation, comparison, and analysis of public library fiscal year statistics.
IMLS Data Collection
State Library Administrative Agency Survey
The State Library Administrative Agency Survey (SLAA) provides descriptive data about state library agencies for all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
Public Libraries Survey
The Public Libraries Survey (PLS) provides national descriptive data on the status of public libraries in the United States and its territories. Data are collected from more than 9,000 public library systems with over 17,000 public library outlets. Explore state-level profiles to find and compare totals on key data such as numbers of libraries and librarians, revenue and expenditures, and collection sizes.