January 26, 2022

Funding: IMLS Has Just Awarded 44 National Leadership and Sparks! Grants Totaling $10.5 Million

From IMLS:

Today the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded 44 grants, totaling $10,545,493, through three key library and museum grant programs.

The funds are being awarded through the IMLS National Leadership Grants for Museums Program, the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program, and the Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries Program.


National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG-L) and for Museums (NLG-M) support projects that address challenges faced by the library, archive, and museum fields. They have the potential to advance the library, archival, and museum practice with new tools, research findings, models, services, or alliances that can be widely replicated.

National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG-L)

The NLG-L program received 85 preliminary applications. Nineteen full proposals were invited, and 15 grants were made during this second 2016 cycle. The library grants total $5,017,937 and will be matched with $1,571,008 of non-federal funds. See the list of 2016 Cycle Two National Leadership Grants for Library awards.

Top Funded Project

Recipient: Adler Planetarium (Chicago)
Award Amount: $1,214,780
The “Transforming Libraries and Archives through Crowdsourcing” project, a research partnership between Adler and Oxford University.

Recipients Include:

AZ: Arizona State University

CA: San Jose State
CA: University of California, Santa Barbara
CA: Shift Design (HistoryPin)
CA: California Digital Library (UCLA and Harvard)

CT: Hartford Public Library

IL: Adler Planetarium
IL: Northwestern University (in Collaboration with University of California San Diego Library)

IN: University of Notre Dame (with Support from Center for Open Science)

MA: Northeastern University

MD: University of Maryland

NE: University of Nebraska

NY: Brooklyn Public Library

OK: Independent School District I-29

WA: Washington State University

National Leadership Grants Museums (NLG-M)

The NLG-M program received 60 applications. Thirteen museum grants were made, totaling $5,185,106.  The grants will be matched with $4,761,168 in non-federal funds.  See the 2016 National Leadership Grants for Museum awards.

Top Funded Project

Recipient: Lower East Side Tenement Museum (New York)
Award Amount $499,894
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum will scale up its experimental “Your Story, Our Stories” website into a national program that asks visitors to upload images of, and extended captions for, objects that reveal elements of their personal and family immigration narratives.

Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries provide opportunities to expand and test the boundaries of library and archive services and practices. Sparks! grants support the deployment, testing, and evaluation of promising and groundbreaking new tools, products, services, or organizational practices.

The Sparks program received 54 applications and awarded 16 grants, totaling $342,450. Grantees will match the awards with $177,429 in non-federal funds. See the 2016 Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries awards.

Sparks! Funding Recipients Include:

Azusa City Library (California)
Baltimore County Public Library
Bates College
Brooklyn Public Library
Chemical Heritage Foundation
Georgia Tech Library
Gwinnett County Public Library (Georgia)
Illinois Secretary of State
McDaniel College
Scottsdale Public Library
Shimberg Health Science Library at the University of South Florida
The State Library of Ohio
Springfield Technical Community College Library (Massachusetts)
The University of Wisconsin

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.