Institute of Museum and Library Services

Institute for Museum and
Agency overview
Formed 1996
Headquarters
Employees 65
Annual budget $225 million for 2013
Agency executive Susan Hildreth, Director
Website

The (IMLS) is an independent agency of the United States federal government established in 1996. It is the main source of federal support for libraries and museums within the United States, having the mission to "create strong libraries and museums that connect people with information and ideas." IMLS "works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development." Their vision is "a democratic society where communities and individuals thrive with broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning." In fiscal year 2007, IMLS had a budget of $247 million.

IMLS is located at 1800 M Street NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC .

History[edit]

IMLS was established by the Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA) of 1996, which includes the Library Services and Technology Act and the Museum Services Act. IMLS was reauthorized in 2003 by Public Law 108-81. The 1996 law combined the Institute of Museum Services, which had been in existence since 1976, and the Library Programs Office, which had been part of the Department of Education since 1956.

As amended, MLSA authorizes IMLS to promote improvements in library services; to facilitate access to resources in libraries; to encourage resource sharing among libraries; to support museums in fulfilling their public service and educational roles; to encourage leadership and innovation to enhance museum services; to assist museums in the conservation of America's heritage; to support museums in achieving the highest standards of management and service to the public; and to support resource sharing among museums, libraries and other organizations.

Further, MLSA authorizes IMLS to carry out and publish analyses of the impact of museum and library services.

On September 25, 2003, the president signed the Museum and Library Services Act of 2003. The act is reauthorized every 5 years, with the first reauthorization taking place in 2009. Reauthorization updates the Museum Services Act and the Library Services and Technologies Act, and doubles the minimum allotment under the Grants to State Library Agencies program.

In April 2014, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) recommended that the federal government not fund MLSA and "shift the federal agency’s responsibilities to the private sector in his 2015 fiscal year budget resolution" such as "funded at the state and local level and augmented significantly by charitable contributions from the private sector".

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  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is an independent agency of the United States federal government established in 1996. It is the main source of federal support for libraries and museums within the United States, having the mission to "create strong libraries and museums that connect people with information and ideas." IMLS...

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