In early May, the Gates Foundation took much of the world by surprise by announcing that the massive charitable organization would stop offering grants and support to libraries around the world in the next few years. Libraries have long been a pillar of the Foundation’s strategy, and while the funding will be missed, librarians are already looking ahead at how to preserve the work that’s been done and find ways for other organizations to step into the space the Foundation will leave behind.
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) successfully appealed an October 2013 decision by the Institute for Museum and Library Science (IMLS), restoring $6.5 million in federal matching funds designated to support library activities across the Lone Star State.
As states across the nation tighten their belts, library budgets have landed on the chopping block more frequently in the past few years. This year, The Institute for Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) received eight requests for Maintenance of Effort (MOE) waivers that would let states continue to receive previously approved matching grants through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) even though the funds they’re intended to match will not be provided. That’s more than the IMLS has received in any year since the financial downturn of 2008. Of the eight applicants, only three—Hawaii, Oklahoma, and South Carolina—were awarded waivers. The remaining five states—Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and Texas—stand to lose federal funding as state legislatures fail to live up to their end of the LSTA grant agreements, which are meant to supplement state spending on library programs, rather than supplant it.
Maryland’s Howard County Library System, 2013 Gale/LJ Library of the Year, will use the $276,500 grant it has received from the Institute of Library & Museum Services (IMLS) to expand its HiTech program. The program is a STEM education initiative for teens that provides project-based classes in such skill areas as computer programming, 3-D animation, green energy, nanotechnology, music/video production, ebooks, game app design, cybersecurity, and robotics.
After late night wrangling failed to produce a short term spending bill that could pass both the Senate and House of Representatives, the U.S. federal government has shut down for the first time in nearly two decades. As of this morning, federal agencies that support the mission of libraries around the country — from the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences to the Library of Congress have found themselves forced to close their doors and furlough the majority of their staffers.
The Pushing the Limits grant, aimed specifically at small and rural libraries, offers libraries subtle STEM programming aimed at adults not already interested in science topics. Modeled on the American Library Association’s long-running “Let’s Talk About It” program, Pushing The Limits is organized around four works of popular fiction that explore broad scientific themes. Libraries will partner with scientists in their community to come and lead informal discussions of each book.
The Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch and the Jefferson Market Library in Manhattan’s West Village are among forty historic places in New York City competing for $3 million in grants through Partners in Preservation, a collaboration between American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The New York-based H.W. Wilson Foundation is continuing to support library and information science education with $580,000 in scholarship grants, to be distributed among 58 library schools across North America over the next four years.
Salem Press launched The Library Grants Center on November 16. It is a free web tool designed to help librarians search for library grants at national, state, regional, and local levels. The web site focuses on grants available to all types of libraries and from a range of sources—public and private— including professional organizations, large […]