August 24, 2018


Press Contact:
Elizabeth Holtan,

IMLS Announces Investment of $8.1 Million to Strengthen America’s Libraries
45 Grants Will Fund Programs and Services for Communities Across the Nation

The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 45 grants totaling $8,155,005 to support libraries across the country. The awards were made through the FY 2018 second cycle of the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. The awarded grant search on the IMLS website contains a complete list of grantees and project descriptions.

“We are pleased to announce today’s grant recipients, whose work will have far-reaching benefits for the diverse communities they serve,” said Robin Dale, Deputy Director of IMLS’s Office of Library Services. “These new projects embody IMLS’s commitment to excellence in furthering lifelong learning, 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. During this second cycle, the National Leadership Grants for Libraries program received 113 preliminary proposals requesting $31,832,527. Forty-six projects requesting $8,101,212 were invited to submit full proposals, and of these, 31 projects were awarded $4,947,294, including:

  • The Colorado State Library and Colorado Library Consortium, with partners RSL Research Group and Colorado Department of Corrections, will plan a statewide assessment of prison libraries. The planning project will determine how best to assess prison library contributions to offenders' development of pro-social behaviors during incarceration and maximize their chances of successful re‐entry into the community.
  • The Trustees of Indiana University’s Shared BigData-Gateway for Research Libraries will develop, seed, and maintain a cloud-based, extensible cyberinfrastructure for sharing large academic library data resources with a growing community of scholars. The team will create a sustainable and shared resource for current and future big data mining and analysis.
  • San Jose State University, the Tribal Libraries Program of the New Mexico State Library, the New Mexico State Department of Information Technology, the Gigabit Libraries Network, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, will collaborate with tribal libraries across New Mexico to explore dramatically improving tribal internet connectivity, equity, and inclusion through the design and implementation of several TV Whitespace networks statewide.

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program supports developing a diverse workforce of librarians 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 73 preliminary proposals requesting $20,447,280, and 23 of these were invited to submit full proposals, resulting in a total request of $5,695,653 during phase 2. IMLS is awarding $3,207,711 to 14 projects, including:

  • The University of Texas at Austin will investigate how small, rural libraries contribute to community viability. Investigators will focus on the factors important to library resiliency during natural disasters and crises through a partnership with Florida State University.
  • The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will provide librarians across the state with the training, partnerships, and tools needed to enhance their knowledge of systems that support patrons who are using the library for workforce development related purposes.
  • The Democratic Knowledge Project at Harvard University, in partnership with the Massachusetts Library System, will pilot a professional development initiative focused on civics education for youth-serving librarians. A cohort of 8-10 public librarians and school library media specialists from across the state will develop a series of professional development resources and learning modules to expand young people’s capacity for civic action and media-making in the digital age.

Visit the IMLS website for more information about the National Leadership Grants for Libraries and the Laura Bust 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 and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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