The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nations 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.
Senator Reed authored and successfully passed the bipartisan Museum and Library Services Act of 2010, which annually provides needed federal assistance to museums and libraries across the country. In addition to museum grants, Reeds law includes state formula funding and competitive grants, administered by IMLS, which help libraries meet community needs, better utilize technology to provide enhanced services, and reach underserved populations. Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, annually champions funding for these federal library programs.
I commend these public libraries and their community partners on winning these prestigious grants. This federal funding will help boost both childhood and adult literacy and improve services for library users. I appreciate IMLS for recognizing the importance of these initiatives and supporting Rhode Islands public libraries, said Reed, who last year received two of the library communitys highest national honors: the Crystal Apple from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and Honorary Membership from the American Library Association (ALA).
The three competitive grants for Rhode Island, made possible through IMLSs National Leadership Grants program, are:
Providence Public Library: $498,172
To address the needs of the underserved population of Providence, the Providence Public Library will use its grant to create Adult Lifelong Learning Access (ALLACCESS), aimed at increasing access to digital literacy, adult education, and workforce services across the state. Providence Public Library along with Cranston Public Library and their statewide partners will demonstrate methods for integrating library, adult education, and workforce services to support adults with low education attainment; low English literacy, disabilities, or low digital literacy. The Providence Public Library will provide a matching amount of $781,834 for the project.
Providence Community Library: $250,000
Providence Community Library will partner with Ready to Learn Providence on Ready for K!, a school readiness program designed to reduce the achievement gap for children who are entering kindergarten and have not participated in formal early learning programs. Major project components include professional development for children's librarians and family literacy programming, including the creation of literacy kits with books and activities. The project will help ensure that students enter kindergarten ready to learn and will demonstrate the library's important role as a partner in meeting this essential community need. The Providence Community Library will provide a matching amount of $88,516 for the project.
University of Rhode Island: $50,000
The University of Rhode Island will use this grant to develop Media Smart Libraries: Building Partnerships to Support Children in a Digital Age, including a yearlong community outreach program that will highlight the best strategies for using children's film and digital media to increase literacy. The program will bring together the Providence Children's Film Festival, the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services, the American Center for Children and Media, and the Children's Media Association. Together they will address current needs such as filling in the knowledge gaps of children's librarians and fostering collaboration between librarians and media professionals and between schools and libraries. The program will also be an experiential learning opportunity for those library and information sciences graduate students that will help their professional development of leadership and communication skills.
In this round of funding, IMLS is awarding grants for 62 library projects totaling $14,670,662 million. The libraries were selected from more than 285 applications requesting a total of nearly $37,977,530 million. Many of the institutions receiving grants are required to provide matching funds, and as a result these institutions are leveraging an additional $9.9 million in non-federal spending this year.