February 2, 2015

IMLS Press Contact
Giuliana Bullard gbullard@imls.gov

Washington, DC—Today the President released his FY 2016 Budget Request to the U.S. Congress. The budget includes $237,427,957 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). With these funds, IMLS will provide leadership for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums in all fifty states and U.S. territories through grant making, policy development, and research. The Congressional Justification, which contains detailed information on the Budget Request, is now available at http://www.imls.gov/assets/1/AssetManager/FY16_CJ.pdf on the IMLS website, as well as the IMLS Budget table: http://www.imls.gov/assets/1/AssetManager/BudgetHistory_13-16.pdf

The President requests a $9.6 million increase over the FY 2015 enacted level, of which $8.8 million supports a national digital platform, which will be funded through the IMLS National Leadership Grant programs for Libraries ($5.3 million) and Museums ($3.5 million). The agency will focus the additional resources on promoting development of new standards for continuing education for library and museum professionals.

“We are proud of the contributions of IMLS and believe there is a federal responsibility to ensure all Americans have access to the nation’s libraries and museums regardless of geographic, economic, or physical barriers,” said IMLS Acting Director Maura Marx. “During fiscal year 2016, IMLS will help advance a range of museum and library services, with a special focus on expanding a National Digital Platform for Library and Museum Services and continuing education and training for library and museum professionals.”

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 supports projects that strengthen library and museum services for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians, as well as projects that strengthen African American museums.

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 museums and five libraries that are making exceptional contributions to their communities.

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

IMLS will focus funding on its strategic goals that include the following:

  • 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
  • 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 will focus on two strategic areas in the FY 2016 budget.

  • National Digital Platform for Library and Museum Services: IMLS promotes the use of technology to expand access to the holdings of museums, libraries, and archives. IMLS will increase its support for expanding access by funding the national digital platform and in particular, state and regional service hubs that help libraries, museums, and archives with digital content and services. The work gives more Americans free and electronic access to resources of libraries, archives, and museums.
  • Continuing Education for Library and Museum Professionals: Libraries, museums, and archives play essential roles in ensuring access to information for everyone. IMLS will emphasize skills-based learning through programs that support professional and 21st-century skill development. IMLS will fund efforts to create a Maker Framework for museums and libraries and identify ways to encourage makerspaces in museums and libraries. IMLS will also support the professional education of librarians and museum professionals.

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 35,000 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.

Budget and Performance