April 13, 2012


IMLS Press Contacts
Kevin O'Connell, koconnell@imls.gov
Mamie Bittner, mbittner@imls.gov

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has revamped the web page for its Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills initiative. Museums and libraries visiting the page will now be able to access practitioner videos, a PowerPoint presentation, an updated resource list, and a toolkit that will help them organize 21st century skills workshops in their communities. These new resources join IMLS’s 2009 report and self assessment tool already in wide use.

The 21st Century Skills initiative is intended to assist museums and libraries as they leverage their resources to help individuals of all ages acquire such critical skills as critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, communication, and collaboration. Combining strengths in traditional and digital learning, libraries and museums are well positioned to build the skills Americans need today.

"Increasingly, policymakers and researchers are recognizing that we must create and coordinate a learning ecosystem of lifelong and ‘life-wide’ opportunities for formal and informal learning," said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. "Not only can libraries and museums respond to increasing demand for learning services, they can facilitate active, engaged learning that gives people the ability to access and interpret knowledge and information throughout their lives. The tools we’re providing with this new web page will help libraries and museums in this effort."

The Making the Learning Connection Community Workshop Toolkit is based on a series of community workshops conducted by IMLS between June 2010 and May 2011. This toolkit is designed to assist museum and library leaders in planning and executing 21st century skills workshops in their own communities. It outlines the planning process, provides timelines, sample exercises and agendas, and brief descriptions of the 2010-11 IMLS workshops. Museum and library staff can also use a new 21st Century Skills PowerPoint and an extended bibliography in their presentations and planning.

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.