May 18, 2022

Funding: IMLS Awards $9.7 Million For Libraries (39 Leadership and Laura Bush Grants Announced)

From the Institute For Museum and Library Services:

2017-04-18_13-23-45The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 39 grants totaling $9,799,830 to support libraries across the nation.

The grants were awarded through the first cycles of the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.

Direct to Review All Grants Awarded Today

National Leadership Grants for Libraries support projects that address challenges faced by the library and archive fields and that have the potential to advance library and archival practice with new tools, research findings, models, services, or alliances that can be widely replicated. More than $23 million was requested, and $5,479,503 was awarded for 25 projects. Grantees will provide more than $2 million in cost share.

Funded projects include:

  • Nebraska Library Commission and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will receive $530,732 to advance economic development in 30 rural communities by developing Innovation Studios with tools to enable residents to explore, collaborate, create, learn, and invent. The project will demonstrate the critical role of public libraries as catalysts for economic and community development in rural communities. It will be disseminated nationally.
  • With $249,282 in funding, the DC Public Library (DCPL) and the Public Library Association will provide training, equipment and financial support to seven public libraries to help them create programs for community members to digitize and preserve their personal and family collections. Modeled after DCPL’s successful Memory Lab, the resulting personal archiving stations will allow libraries to foster deeper community engagement and expand staff and patron expertise in personal archiving. Training materials from the project will be made available to other libraries.

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program supports projects to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, faculty, and library leaders. IMLS is awarding $4,320,327 of the $17.2 million requested. For the 14 funded projects, grantees are providing $2.4 million in cost share.

Funded projects include:

  • With a grant of $336,649, the University of North Carolina, in partnership with the Durham and Charlotte Public Libraries and the Autism Society of North Carolina, will conduct a research project that aims to help libraries equip people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families with skills to become self-advocates. Deliverables include a critical theoretical model; an empirical model describing the local, library-oriented information worlds and needs of people with autism; a process model; a toolkit; and open source resources for library community assessment and program planning for marginalized communities.
  • A grant of $343,962 will enable the Chicago Public Library and the Museum of Science and Industry to help librarians gain skills to create STEM learning experiences for children. The project will provide professional development for more than 180 librarians in Chicago and King County, Wash., and resources that will be shared broadly with the field.
  • The library and information science schools at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and San Jose State University are using a grant of $488,501 to help U.S. veterans to become librarians. The partners will conduct a two-pronged project that involves scholarships and research exploring how veterans choose careers in librarianship. It will result in guidelines for recruiting veterans; a tool to assess recruiting effort of local library and information science programs; and a directory of potential partner organizations that serve veterans.

Direct to Review All Grants Announced Today

Largest Leadership Grant Award
$967,088.00 to Northwestern University Library

Northwestern University Library, in partnership with Indiana University Libraries, will work to increase adoption and ensure sustainability of the open source Avalon audiovisual repository system. The project will work closely with the Hydra community to engage developers, as well as create and implement a cloud-hosted service model for Avalon. It will also integrate the platform with several scholarly tools and media preservation systems, such as the Digital Preservation Network, Archivematica, and the International Image Interoperability Framework. This work will facilitate easier adoption of the platform by a variety of institutions while also adding key features to increase Avalon’s functionality.

Largest Leadership Grant Award
 $518,507.00 to Association of Research Libraries (ARL)

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) will implement the ARL Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence, a national diversity recruitment and development program. The program will provide one-year paid internships in libraries and archives to 30 undergraduate and graduate students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. The project will also provide numerous continuing education opportunities for the fellows to explore careers in libraries and archives, as well as training in diversity, equity, and social justice topics. Students will receive mentorship opportunities and leadership development in addition to their one-year internship positions, paving the way for successful careers for the individual fellows and a more diverse workforce for the library and archives fields.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.