Funding: IMLS Awards $180 Million to Support Communities Through Library Services in All U.S. States and Territories
From IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services):
In support of the intrinsic role that libraries play in promoting informed, healthy, vibrant communities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced it has awarded $180 million in annual grants to each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated State s.
These grants represent the largest source of federal funding support for library services. With this investment the agency’s Grants to States program leverages state and local funding to support impactful library services across the nation. Previous grants to states have been used to address specific local needs, including:
- Oklahoma’s digital inclusion grants helped individuals attend telehealth appointments, complete educational courses, and mitigate isolation by staying in touch with family and friends during the pandemic.
- Washington libraries used IMLS stimulus funds to extend their Wi-Fi to reach parking lots and other outside areas, so that their communities had more points of access.
- Kentucky expanded broadband access and supported laptop and hotspot lending during the pandemic at 20 public libraries, where users reported life-changing outcomes, such as securing employment and finishing degrees.
- Ohio placed digital literacy trainers in rural Ohio libraries to provide computer classes and one-on-one training, particularly in areas of the state hardest hit by poverty and joblessness.
- Alabama helped address emerging needs of local libraries during the pandemic and is now prioritizing education and workforce needs throughout the state.
The IMLS Fiscal Year 2023 allotment table for 59 State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) includes a base amount to each of the SLAAs plus a supplemental amount based on population. This year’s base amount rose to $1 million for states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and to $100,000 for other Territories and Freely Associated States, an increase that delivers on the statutory language of the agency’s 2018 reauthorization.
Based on IMLS analysis of states’ newly submitted five-year plans, the agency anticipates significant investments in training for the library workforce (95% of states), reading (88% of states), library services for the blind and print disabled (73% of states), and broadband (71% of states) among other areas.
In addition to annual allotments, SLAAs administered $30 million in CARES Act and $178 million in American Rescue Plan Act stimulus funding in 2020 and 2021, with a focus on digital inclusion in communities across the U.S. IMLS fully obligated both sets of stimulus funds to states within a month of passage and SLAAs rapidly disseminated them, leveraging existing networks to reach communities throughout the entire country. The funds helped libraries operate safely during the pandemic and partner with other institutions to meet community needs.
To find out more about how IMLS funds are used in each state, including stimulus funding, visit the newly refreshed state profile pages.
Filed under: Awards, Funding, Libraries, News, Patrons and Users, Public Libraries
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.