June 6, 2012


IMLS Press Contacts
Mamie Bittner, mbittner@imls.gov

Washington, D.C.—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today announced a planning grant of $50,000 to the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association. This National Leadership Grant will aid in the development of a "summer reading app" for mobile devices by the summer of 2013.

"Research shows that lack of opportunities for summer learning can put children and teens at risk of falling behind.  Some students enter middle school far behind their peers with little hope of catching up," said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. "We want this project to create new and innovative ways to keep kids engaged in learning."

PLA will partner with Influx Library User Experience Consulting to develop and deploy a lightweight prototype of a web-based summer reading app. The project team will then coordinate with other organizations, including the Digital Public Library of America, to use the prototype as a means of gathering feedback from a variety of stakeholders about what features and functions would be desirable in a fully functional application. PLA will use this feedback to draft a report to guide software developers in the creation of an application that could be invaluable to summer reading programs across the country.

IMLS's National Leadership Grant program supports projects that address challenges faced by the museum, library, and archive fields and that have the potential to advance practice in those fields. It funds innovative responses to challenges that have been identified as national in scope.

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 17,500 museums. Through grant making, policy development, and research, we help communities and individuals thrive through broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning. To learn more about IMLS, please visit www.imls.gov.