May 25, 2022

IMLS Authorizes New Grant Flexibilities for Libraries, Museums

From the Institute of Museum and Library Services:

The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the first of a number of critical measures to aid museums, libraries, and communities across the nation in response to COVID-19.

The new guidelines outline how institutions with open IMLS grants may adapt their existing fund balances to address immediate needs and extend timelines for their work to accommodate the disruption caused by coronavirus. Examples include continuing to employ staff, modifying project activities to align with social distancing requirements, and covering basic costs necessary to resume work once the emergency has passed.

“Today, IMLS begins the initial phase of our response to the COVID-19 emergency with new guidelines for our existing available funds,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “We are determined to respond as quickly as possible, and that these funds have a direct, positive impact on museum and library operations and employment, and through that, on their communities.”

IMLS is committed to working with grantees to provide the maximum flexibility allowed by governing authorities. For the complete guidelines, please visit the FAQ page on the IMLS website. Topics addressed include:

  • Continuing to charge salaries and benefits to a currently active award if the work specified in the award cannot be performed due to disruption caused by COVID-19;
  • Charging costs associated with the cancellation of project events, travel, or other activities;
  • Due date extensions for reports and audits; and
  • No-cost extensions for awards.

For questions about submitting new applications, please visit the FAQ page or contact an IMLS program staff member listed on the grant program page. Please note that there are new application deadlines for five library services programs.

On March 27, the CARES Act allocated $50 million in funding for IMLS to address the COVID-related digital divide. More information on the availability of these funds will be forthcoming. For the latest information, subscribe to IMLS news and visit

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.