April 23, 2018

IMLS Announces National Leadership Grants

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced today, September 27, 48 awards totaling $14,661,217 matched with $12,929,824 of non-federal funds for National Leadership Grants. IMLS received 210 applications requesting $80,179,046 in funds.

Among the larger, library-related grants were:

Northern Illinois University Libraries – DeKalb, IL
Grant Category: Advancing Digital
Award Amount: $575,000; Matching Amount: $578,934

The Northern Illinois University Libraries and partner libraries at Chicago State University, Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, and Western Illinois University will simultaneously test multiple collaborative digital preservation solutions and evaluate the suitability of each option for small and medium-sized college and university libraries.

Indiana University Digital Library Program – Bloomington, IN
Grant Category: Advancing Digital
Award Amount: $947,963; Matching Amount: $1,125,566

The Indiana University Digital Library Program, in partnership with Northwestern University Libraries, will develop an open-source software system to help academic libraries and archives manage digital audio and video collections and provide enhanced access to these collections. Development work will build on Indiana University’s development of the open-source Variations digital music library system

John Hopkins University Library Systems – Baltimore, MD
Grant Category: Research
Award Amount: $600,000; Matching Amount: $391,754

Humanities scholars are increasingly using digital technologies to create and share work. Johns Hopkins University Library System and its partners from Tufts University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will develop collaborative virtual work space, including collections and services, designed to support a new “collaborative lab culture.”

University of Michigan Library – Ann Arbor, MI
Grant Category: Advancing Digital
Award Amount: $948,122; Matching Amount: $2,443,334

The University of Michigan Libraries will continue work that has already investigated and recorded reliable determinations of the copyright status of more than 117,000 U.S. titles published in 1923–1963. More than half these titles were determined to be public domain, and they are now available online. With a new IMLS award, the libraries and their partners will continue making copyright determinations for U.S. titles, and will also begin making reliable copyright status determinations for foreign-published titles, which constitute a significant portion of the scholarly works being digitized in projects such as the HathiTrust.

Southeastern New York Library Resources Council – Highland, NY
Grant Category: Demonstration
Award Amount: $429,392; Matching Amount: $430,082

Libraries, museums, and archives across the country often own recorded oral histories, but the general public is often unaware that these hidden treasures exist and are available for use. To demonstrate a new model for generating public interest and use of oral history collections, the Southeastern New York Library Resources Council will lead a unique partnership of libraries, museums, community organizations, audio producers, broadcasters, and oral history digitization and content management consultants. Together, the partners will digitize oral histories selected from repositories in the region and present the content in a manner suitable for the preferences of twenty-first century users.

Westchester Library System – Tarrytown, NY
Grant Category: Demonstration
Award Amount: $450,000; Matching Amount: $456,311

The Westchester Library System, in partnership with Lifetime Arts, Inc., and the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office, will demonstrate a new and robust model for public libraries to deliver and sustain meaningful instructional arts programs for an aging population. The field of creative aging, which focuses on the beneficial and powerful role of the arts in enhancing the quality of life for older adults, is increasingly recognized as an important contributor to positive aging. Partnering library systems are the Brooklyn Public Library, Clinton Essex Franklin Library System, New York Public Library, and Westchester Library System.

University of Utah Library – Salt Lake City, UT
Grant Category: Demonstration
Award Amount: $439,142; Matching Amount: $439,678

Libraries and archives have built digital repositories and have amassed sizable digital collections over the past two decades. While these digital collections have high potential value for both researchers and the general public, they are not easily discoverable through major Web search engines. This isolation has created access barriers to a very rich set of resources. Working with the Online Computer Library Center, Inc., the Digital Library Federation, and the Mountain West Digital Library, the University of Utah Libraries will test and evaluate a strategy for making library digital collections significantly more visible in common Web search engines. The partners will use the findings of this work to publish a toolkit that will help libraries and archives make their digital library content more accessible and useful for common Web users.

University of Washington Information School – Seattle, WA
Grant Category: Research
Award Amount: $635,000; Matching Amount: $580,213

Early literacy programs are very common in public libraries across the nation, but libraries struggle to find accurate and meaningful ways to measure the impact these programs have on children. Building on a 2009 research planning grant from IMLS, researchers in the University of Washington Information School and partners, including the Early Learning Public Library Partnership, the Foundation for Early Learning, and the Washington State Library, will investigate and test new ways to measure the effectiveness of early literacy programs in public libraries.


Michael Kelley About Michael Kelley

Michael Kelley (mkelley@mediasourceinc.com) is the former Editor-in-Chief, Library Journal.