April 10, 2013


IMLS Press Contacts
Giuliana Bullard, gbullard@imls.gov, 202-653-4799
Mamie Bittner, mbittner@imls.gov, 202-653-4630

Washington, DC—Today the President released his FY 2014 Budget Request to the U.S. Congress.  The budget includes $225,812,538, an increase of 2.7 percent from FY 2013 enacted, for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).   With these funds, IMLS will provide leadership for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums through research, policy development and grant making.

 "We are living at a time when the strategic use of resources could not be more important, said IMLS Director Susan H. Hildreth. "IMLS’s role – to provide leadership, funding, data, strategic partnerships, knowledge sharing, and policy analysis—is essential to help libraries and museums improve their services. Support from IMLS will continue to advance innovation, lifelong learning and cultural and civic engagement." 

IMLS grant programs support library services in every state and territory through a population-based formula grant.  The agency also administers competitive grant programs for libraries and museums that engage hundreds of library, museum, education and technology professionals in a rigorous peer review process to identify well-designed projects.  IMLS also supports projects that strengthen library and museum services for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians.

A Presidentially-appointed board, the National Museum and Library Services Board, advises the director on policy development and on the selection of recipients of the prestigious National Medal for Museum and Library Services that is awarded annually to five museum and five libraries that are making a difference in their communities.

IMLS supports all types of libraries, public, academic, school, tribal and research and all types of museums including botanic gardens, aquaria, and zoos, as well as art, history, science,  children’s and tribal museums.

IMLS will focus funding on its strategic goals that include:

  • Learning: Placing the learner at the center by supporting engaging learning experiences that prepare people to be full participants in their local communities and our global society,
  • Community: Promoting libraries and museums as strong community anchors that enhance civic engagement, cultural opportunities and economic vitality, and
  • Content: Supporting exemplary stewardship of museum and library collections and promoting the use of technology to facilitate discovery of knowledge and cultural heritage.

Special Focus

Within the requested amount and within existing programs, IMLS is highlighting two strategic areas in the FY 2014 budget: early childhood development and learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Early Learning: U.S. libraries and museums are a foundational part of the early learning landscape and IMLS has long supported the testing, development and delivery of quality, impactful programming and also helps to build collections and services that support young children, as well as their caregivers, parents and child care workers.

IMLS will continue its strong partnership with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.  IMLS and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading are working to elevate the roles that museums and libraries play in supporting young children’s learning and development. In late spring, we will release a national policy report that describes how libraries and museums make a difference for young learners and helps federal, state and local policy makers partner with libraries and museums to create effective early learning strategies and plans.

It is clear that libraries and museums have a unique role to play in reaching children who are not part of formal public or private childcare programs. In FY 2014, we will fund at least 20 pilot projects that focus on early learning for children who are not in formal preschool programs and consequently are at great risk of not being ready for school. The initiative will build on current museum and library program investments in system-wide and community-based early learning efforts and to test those investments’ ability to prepare disadvantaged children for a successful future.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math): Libraries and museums are crucial to building skills in STEM learning for children and young adults.  In FY 2014 IMLS will create a funding priority for projects that develop new programming models to teach STEM skills to at-risk youth. Libraries and museums are emerging as community technology hubs where out-of-school STEM learning efforts include development of "maker spaces," where teens and adults can creatively apply STEM concepts to create their own inventions; hosting community science fairs, and STEM-focused exhibits and public programs.

In the FY 2014 Congressional Budget Justification, Director Hildreth noted: "I am proud of the contributions that IMLS makes to the American people. I firmly believe that there is a federal responsibility to ensure all Americans have access to museums and libraries and that the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums can provide the best possible service to the public regardless of geographic, economic, or physical barriers."

Full text of the IMLS FY 2014 Congressional Budget Justification can be found at www.imls.gov/assets/1/AssetManager/FY14_CJ.pdf.

Budget table: www.imls.gov/assets/1/AssetManager/Appropriations03-14.pdf

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. 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.