October 30, 2013

IMLS Press Contact
Giuliana Bullard gbullard@imls.gov

Washington, DC—The 28th meeting of the National Museum and Library Services Board (NMLSB) will take place from 9:00 a.m. – noon on Friday, November 15, 2012, in the Richard Arrington Auditorium of the Birmingham Public Library in Birmingham, Alabama. The meeting is open to the public.  The Board provides policy advice for the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  Through grants, research, and policy development, IMLS supports all types of museums, from art to zoo, and all types of libraries, public, academic, research, and tribal.  The state of Alabama received more than $2 million from the IMLS in 2013 to support library services, and Alabama museums received more than $180,000 in competitive grants.

Dr. Lawrence Pijeaux, President and CEO of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and member of the National Museum and Library Services Board, will welcome board members along with Rebecca Mitchell, Director of the Alabama Library Service, and Renee Blalock, Director of the Birmingham Public Library.

In light of Birmingham’s recognition of the 50th anniversary of pivotal civil rights events this year, the board will review the agency’s support for African American museums in the United States. The IMLS Museum Grants for African American History and Culture program was authorized by Congress in 2005 and the agency began making grants in 2006. Since then, IMLS has helped build the capacity of African American museums and Historically Black Colleges and Universities with 91 grants totaling $9,539,740. Grantees have provided matching funds of $11,870,065.  The board will review past accomplishments and discuss future directions for this important grant program.

The board will also explore how the nation’s libraries and museums support learning in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).  Speakers will discuss the roles of libraries and museums in the emerging “makerspaces” movement.   Makerspaces offer the public the opportunity to pursue technical and engineering-oriented activities such as electronics, robotics, and 3D printing as well as traditional metalworking, woodworking, and arts and crafts, in a creative, collaborative environment.

The meeting location is:

Linn-Henley Research Building
Birmingham Public Library
2100 Park Place
Birmingham, AL 35203

Attendees should park in the lot at Park Place and go to the third floor for the crosswalk to the Linn-Henley Research Building.  The Richard Arrington Auditorium is on the fourth floor.

The meeting is open to the public. To attend, please R.S.V.P. to Katherine Maas at kmaas@imls.gov.

About the National Museum and Library Services Board
The National Museum and Library Services Board is an advisory body that includes the director and deputy directors of Institute of Museum and Library Service and twenty presidentially appointed members of the general public who have demonstrated expertise in, or commitment to, library or museum services. Informed by its collectively vast experience and knowledge, the board advises the IMLS director on general policy and practices, and on selections for the National Medals for Museum and Library Service.

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.


Museum Grants for African American History and Culture