April 17, 2014

IMLS: $18.2M to Libraries, Others

By Lynn Blumenstein

National Leadership Grants include support for Salinas, disaster aid

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded national leadership grants totaling $18.2 million to libraries, library schools, museums, and other cultural institutions. The grants require a match.

Public library grants

Salinas Public Library, CA, will use $713,899 together with the National Steinbeck Center and other Salinas groups to explore ways to revive the city’s civic life, promote lifelong learning among children and adults, and support community development efforts. The project involves digitization and collecting personal and organizational histories.

Orange County Library System, Orlando, FL, will use $120,603 to create a U.S. citizenship program that addresses all kinds of learning experiences—one-on-one, group, and live online learning and self-paced tutorials.

Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN, was awarded $271,391 to work in partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, NC, Free Library of Philadelphia, Seattle Public Library, Memphis Public Library, and the Wilmette Public Library, IL, to evaluate literacy skills developed by youth participating in innovative technology programs.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will use $600,000 for “an effort to bring the historic Iron and Steel Heritage Collection online, encouraging users to “add personalized meaning and contribute important contextual information” to digitized items.

The New York Public Library, Queens Library, and Brooklyn Public Library will use $378,525 to develop digital homework help tools—Homework NYC Widgets—responsive to young people’s information-gathering tendencies, research needs, and expectations.

Academic library grants

The University of Michigan Library, Ann Arbor, was awarded $578,955 to create a copyright review management system to increase the reliability of determining copyright status of books published between 1923 and 1963. The library has many materials that fall into this category, given the Google Books digitization effort, but the project is meant to establish a methodology and create a tool that can be used by other mass digitization projects.

Florida State University College of Information, Tallahassee, will use $415,673 to partner with neighboring Chipola College and Tallahassee Community College to identify ways for students with various proficiency levels to develop information literacy skills in both traditional and distance environments.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, will use $250,000 to develop further its LibX tool used in more than 277 libraries. This technology platform offers developers a way to create and deliver library services and prototype new ones.

LIS investigations

The School of Library and Information Studies, San José State University, CA, will use $39,826 to collect and analyze data regarding young adult (YA) spaces in libraries. The aim is to help library professionals design YA spaces that are “developmentally appropriate and responsive” to today’s youth.

The University of Maryland College of Information Studies, College Park, and the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, Tuscaloosa, will use $39,955 to work with libraries in those two states to create a model to strengthen public libraries’ capacity to work with government agencies in times of disaster or crisis.

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