Since I took the helm in January 2011, IMLS has provided nearly one billion dollars in federal support for libraries and museums. We are primarily a grant making agency, and I’ve aimed to demonstrate outstanding stewardship of funds to maximize value for the American public.
One of the efforts I’m most proud of is the development of our strategic plan in 2012. The effort engaged more than 1, 500 citizens and provided programmatic direction for the agency’s grant making, research, and policy development. The plan continues to guide our priorities and investments and provides key messages about the capacity of museums and libraries as centers of learning, as community hubs, and as stewards of collections and providers of access to content. It has influenced the very way libraries and museums speak about their relevance in society.
By forging and strengthening partnerships with a host of federal departments and agencies, I have helped to elevate the agency’s reputation among lawmakers and within Washington. I let policymakers know that IMLS could enhance their efforts and help them tap into the vital community center role of libraries and museums. When immigration regulations and laws were changing, IMLS formed a partnership with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to help libraries become better access points of civic education and training for immigrant customers and English language learners. In anticipation of passage of the Affordable Care Act, IMLS worked cooperatively with Centers for Medicaid and Medicare to make sure that libraries are aware of and could connect customers to information resources and community partners. We also maintain active partnerships with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, among others.
I am proud to have served as a catalyst for engagement with the White House, which recognized the winners of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service and hosted the first-ever White House Library and Museum Champions of Change event. We work closely with the First Lady’s office on the Let’s Move! Museums & Gardens initiative to encourage museum programs that will lead to a healthier generation of kids.
The IMLS WebWise Conference, a signature initiative of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), spotlights the future of high-quality online content for inquiry and education, the latest research and innovations in digital technology and the potential impacts on library and museum services, and effective museum and library...
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