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.

The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation and support professional development.

Overview

Libraries and museums help create vibrant and energized learning communities. Our achievement as individuals and our success as a democratic society depend on learning continually, adapting to change readily and evaluating information critically.

As stewards of cultural heritage, information and ideas, museums and libraries have traditionally played a vital role in helping us experience, explore, discover and make sense of the world. That role is now more essential than ever. Through building technological infrastructure and strengthening community relationships, libraries and museums can offer the public unprecedented access and expertise in transforming information overload into knowledge.

The institute's role at the Institute is to provide leadership and funding for the nation’s museums and libraries, resources these institutions need to fulfill their mission of becoming centers of learning for life crucial to achieving personal fulfillment, a productive workforce and an engaged citizenry.

Library and Services Technology Act

Specifically, the institute is authorized to support the following activities:

  • To promote improvements in library services in all types of libraries in order to better serve the people of the United States
  • To facilitate access to resources and in all types of libraries for the purpose of cultivating an educated and informed citizenry; and
  • To encourage resource sharing among all types of libraries for the purpose of achieving economical and efficient delivery of library services to the public

The Dominican Study

The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in partnership with the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University and the State Libraries of Colorado and Texas, set out to test the question:

“Do public library summer reading programs impact student achievement among 3rd and 4th grade students, especially those who are disadvantaged?”

The study (IMLS grant number LG-06-06-0102-06) involved the collection of data through pre-testing and post-testing of students at the end of third grade and at the beginning of fourth grade. Interviews and surveys of public librarians were conducted, as well as surveys of students, their parents, their teachers, and school librarians.

The grant period was originally from October 1, 2006, through September 30, 2009. During the course of the study and because of the importance of the study, it became apparent that more time was needed to review the findings by various readers and, especially, by highly qualified staff members of IMLS. Therefore, extensions of the grant period were sought and received from IMLS, extending the final date to September 30, 2010.

IMLS National Leadership Grant Final Report Published

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The Dominican Study: Public Library Summer Reading Programs Close the Reading Gap:

"In fact, all people today–youth and adults–spend the majority of their lives learning outside the walls of formal classrooms."

–"Museums, Libraries and 21st Century Skills,"
IMLS, July 2009

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. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.