April 12, 2016


IMLS Press Contact
Giuliana Bullard 

IMLS Awards $13 Million to Prepare Future Librarians and Advance Library Field

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 40 grants to institutions totaling $13,016,100. The grants were awarded through the first cycle of the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.

A complete list of grantees and project descriptions can be found here.

“I congratulate the grant recipients for their forward-thinking and creative projects that recognize some of the most pressing needs of the fields of library, archive, and information science,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The long-term impacts of these IMLS investments will be evident for many years to come.”

National Leadership Grants for Libraries support projects that address challenges faced by the library and archive fields and that have the potential to advance library and archival practice with new tools, research findings, models, services, or alliances that can be widely replicated. More than $31 million was requested, and $6,339,441 was awarded for 20 projects.  Grantees will provide $3.7 million in cost share. Funded projects include:

  • Project Welcome of the Mortenson Center for International Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the American Library Association to develop recommendations and an action agenda for libraries on information resources, services, training, and research needed to support the resettlement and integration of refugees and asylum seekers in the United States.

  • The University of Utah’s project on the Western Name Authority File (WNAF) to work with Linked Open Data (LOD) using controlled vocabularies to create new data structures linking people, places, collections, and objects together in digital collections. The project will collaboratively analyze existing vocabularies, develop a data model, explore infrastructure, and test workflows that could be used throughout the Mountain West Digital Library network of partners.

  • The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and its partners (including American Council of the Blind, Association for the BVI, Blind Service Association, Learning Ally, National Federation of the Blind-WI Chapter, and Vision Forward, Milwaukee Public Libraries, Milwaukee Public Museum, and Milwaukee Art Museum) for a collaboration to develop digital library design guidelines on accessibility, usability, and utility for blind and visually impaired (BVI) users. The project will benefit the approximately 20.6 million Americans with significant vision loss who cannot use digital libraries effectively because of the libraries’ sight-centered design.              

Visit the IMLS website for more information about the National Leadership Grants for Libraries program.

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program supports projects to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, faculty, and library leaders. IMLS is awarding $6,676,659 of the $39 million requested. For the 20 funded projects, grantees are providing $2.7 million in cost share.  Funded projects include:

  • Project MISSILE (Mobile Information Skills and Solutions in Library Education) of the University of Tennessee, which will put together interdisciplinary graduate coursework for LIS students to serve as mobile technology consultants for libraries.

  • The project of the University of Texas at Austin and its partners, the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, to examine how rural libraries address the challenges of Internet connectivity with hotspot lending programs. Investigators will create guidelines on program implementation, a report on rural Internet connectivity, and a final research report addressing the impact of hotspot lending programs on users’ quality of life and digital literacy.

  • A National Forum grant of the UCLA Department of Information Studies to bring together stakeholders managing new forms of digital audiovisual evidence used by law enforcement. The project will help set specific priorities for the management and preservation of evidence generated by the widespread use of surveillance cameras, smartphones, and bodycams.

Visit the IMLS website for more information about the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.

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

National Leadership Grants for Libraries