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Projects to Watch – IMLS Funds 276 Library Grants

by on September 30, 2015

Innovative librarians across the United States are expanding library access and learning through the latest round of federal grant funding. The Institute of Museum and Library Services recently awarded $14.16 million to fund 276 projects through National Leadership Grants for Libraries, Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries, Native American Library Services Basic, Native American Library Services Enhancement, Native Hawaiian Library Services, and the Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program.

“These projects underscore the important role libraries play across the country in engaging all ages of learners and in providing access to content, in physical and digital form. We look forward to watching these projects evolve and develop new models, tools, and research that can be broadly adapted by the library profession,” said IMLS Acting Director Maura Marx in a recent press release. Projects cross a wide range of services and learning opportunities.

In Vermont, an early literacy initiative will increase STEM knowledge of twenty-five librarians through a National Leadership Grant. The funding will be available through a partnership between the Vermont Department of Libraries, the Vermont Center for the Book, and the Montshire Museum of Science. The librarians will learn about STEM concepts and how to use those ideas in programs for children, their parents and childcare providers.

The Free Library of Philadelphia will be developing a Prison Services project. Through the grant, families of the incarcerated will be able to share reading through televisiting. The project will also provide information on resources and temporary library cards on the day of release.

Librarian training opportunities and resources will also become available. Through the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, public librarians can expect to benefit from projects through the American Library Association. Watch for scholarship opportunities to attend World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio.

Additionally, the American Library Association is part of a joint project between Creative Commons, California State University System, and the Digital Public Library of America. This project will offer professional development opportunities for librarians.

An open source curriculum and training on web literacy skills and digital competencies will be developed. Watch for more on this project, offered by the Mozilla Foundation, in collaboration with The Technology and Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the University of Washington Information School.

The deadlines for FY2016 funding are fast approaching for the next round of federal grant opportunities. If your library has an innovative project on the back burner, now may be the time to look to IMLS grants to move it forward. Additional information about upcoming IMLS deadlines can be found on their Apply for a Grant webpage.


 “IMLS Announces 276 Grants, $14.16 Million for Libraries in the United States.” LJ INFOdocket. Accessed September 17, 2015

“IMLS Announces Grants of $14.16 Million for Libraries across the U.S.” Accessed September 17, 2015.

“National Leadership Grants for Libraries.” Accessed September 17, 2015.

 “Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries.” Accessed September 17, 2015.


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