November 14, 2016


Press Contacts
Janelle Brevard, IMLS

Cara Priestley, FSG

IMLS Community Salute Initiative Launches with San Antonio Meeting
Blog Series and Twitter Chat extend the conversation to the public

Washington, DC – The unique life experiences and circumstances of veterans and military families highlight opportunities for engagement with local communities. A new initiative of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and FSG will study how libraries and museums are supporting and engaging veterans and military families and will lead to strategies on how libraries and museums can further engage with communities in supporting this population. 

IMLS is launching Community Salute: Libraries and Museums Serving Veterans and Military Families with an event in San Antonio, Texas, on November 16-17, 2016. This important conversation with community service organizations, foundations, museums and libraries will explore how to help the nation’s more than 22 million veterans and their families. The discussion will examine holistic approaches and new ways to spur community-based collaboration.

Many libraries and museums are already involved in the important work of serving veterans and members of the military. Whether by providing employment and job training workshops; helping veterans navigate their benefits system; or developing special collections, exhibitions, or public programs; libraries and museums have long been part of the solution.

“Going forward, the library and museum role can be strengthened and enhanced to catalyze connections between veterans and the specific local service providers they need,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “Museums and libraries can enhance this work by curating the narratives of veterans to not only honor their sacrifice, but also raise civilian awareness of the experience; and of course, by providing programs tailored to veteran’s needs, whether to build skills, offer healing, or simply to provide safe, trusted spaces where they can explore continued service to their community.”

“FSG is honored to partner with the IMLS on the Community Salute Initiative,” said Rebecca Graves, FSG managing director. “From our work in communities across the nation, we know that libraries and museums are essential institutions and valuable community partners. They have many unique assets they can use to support and engage veterans and military families.”

IMLS has begun sharing stories from the field with its Community Salute Blog Series. It features voices from museums and libraries describing IMLS-funded work that benefits veterans and their families, as well as perspectives of IMLS employees with service experience whose lives have intersected significantly with libraries and museums.

On Monday, November 21, at 2:00 p.m. EST, IMLS will extend the conversation with a Community Salute Twitter Chat where libraries and museums already working with veterans are invited to share lessons and best practices. The public is invited to join in the discussion through #imlssalute.

In the coming months, IMLS will assess and publicly share information gathered from the San Antonio discussion and from our social media forums as the agency works to create a framework to pilot solutions in communities of need. The Community Salute program is part of the IMLS Community Catalyst initiative that seeks to leverage libraries and museums as local assets to serve and enrich their citizens.

About IMLS
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission has been to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. For the past 20 years, our grant making, policy development, and research has helped 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, Twitter and Instagram.

About FSG
FSG is a mission-driven consulting firm for leaders in search of large-scale, lasting social change. Through our combination of customized services, powerful ideas, and learning communities, we help foundations, businesses, nonprofits, and governments around the world accelerate progress. Learn more at