Tag Archives: Institute of Museum and Library Services

Historic Sites Garner A Dozen+ Grants from IMLS

The Institute for Museum and Library Services recently announced the awards for the latest round of Museums for America grants, which include projects at more than a dozen historic places.  It’s always a quick way to see what’s happening around the country to get ideas as well as identify what projects are attractive to funders.  Congratulations to the recipients, especially our colleagues who are working with historic sites, including:

Kodiak Historical Society – Kodiak, AK
Award Amount: $52,706; Matching Amount: $52,810
Contact: Ms. Anjuli Grantham, Curator of Collections
(907) 486-5920; anjuli@baranovmuseum.org

The Kodiak Historical Society will complete design development for 2,800 square feet of exhibits at the Baranov Museum, located within the National Historic Landmark building known as the Russian-American Magazin. The project will foster the planning and design of Continue reading

IMLS Moves Deadline in Response to Comments from Museums

In a surprising move, the Institute of Museum and Library Services will be changing the application deadline for Museums for America and National Leadership Grants from January 15, although it won’t happen until 2014 at the earliest and the new deadline hasn’t been announced.  The 2013 deadline remains January 15.  According to Claudia French, Deputy Director for Museums, “We wholeheartedly support this suggestion and will change the deadline for FY2014. The time required for final approval of new grant guidelines through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will not allow us to alter the date for FY2013.”

This was a result of more than 100 comments received from the field as a result of a major restructuring of their grant programs.  IMLS did not reveal what other changes are under consideration or what concerns were reflected in the comments, however, they did affirm that, “In 2013, there will be no restrictions on the number of applications a museum may submit to MFA or NLG-Museums. . . .Museums submitting applications in more than one project category will compete with other museums in each category, not with themselves.”

Thanks to everyone who submitted comments on the proposed IMLS grant guidelines.  This has been one of the most controversial topics in the museum field that I encountered this year, so I’m happy to hear that museums and historic sites had some influence and that the IMLS was willing to accept public comments and provided an initial response so quickly.  A complete statement from IMLS is available on their blog.


Comments on IMLS Revised Grant Guidelines Due Today

A crew from Alabama repairing downed power lines in Maryland near my office.

Electrical power was out in my part of the world for a couple days earlier this week due to the fierce thunderstorm that struck the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic on Friday.  Some parts are still without power and although I haven’t conducted a survey to see how the nearby historic sites fared, I have heard that one historic house museum in Virginia is facing about $30,000 of clean-up costs due to fallen trees and branches.

But power and Internet have been restored to my office, just in time to submit my comments to IMLS on their revised guidelines to their grant program.  Comments are due today to comments@imls.gov.  Here’s what I submitted:

Please accept these comments for the public record regarding the draft guidelines for the FY 2013 Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums programs of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

I appreciate the federal Continue reading

IMLS’ Revised Grant Guidelines Need Revision

In May, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)–the national agency devoted to museums and libraries–released a new set of proposed guidelines that would significantly revise their grant programs for museums (and that includes historic sites, historical societies, house museums, and preservation organizations).  Initially, these changes were proposed to go into effect without comment from the field, but fortunately enough museums spoke up that director Susan Hildreth changed her mind and announced she would welcome comments–but the comment period ends on Friday, July 6, 2012.

According to IMLS, the guidelines affect the Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums programs, however, the impact is much larger because these programs are proposed to consume two other grant programs: Conservation Project Support and 21st Century Museum Professionals.  Claudia French, deputy director for museums, proposed the changes so that the grant programs would align better with the IMLS strategic plan and make it easier for grantees and IMLS staff.

Here are the major changes that caught my eye:

1.  One deadline to rule them all:  January 15.  Currently, the deadlines for Continue reading

WebWise Attracts 400 Museums, Libraries, and Research Orgs

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This week I was fortunate to spend two days in Baltimore with 400 persons representing museums, libraries, archives, and research organizations from 40 states at WebWise, the annual conference hosted by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  This is always one of my favorite conferences and despite a rapid sell-out, I was able to snag a seat.

There seems to be a growing number of history museums and historic sites attending WebWise, and perhaps that’s due to increased recognition that digital technologies are no longer a fad but an essential part of a successful organization (indeed, one of the presenters remarked that staff with technology in their titles are rising up to senior levels with more frequency).  Among the history organizations represented this year are the American Continue reading

Changes Rumored for IMLS Grants

I recently heard a rumor that the Institute of Museum and Library Services made significant changes to their grant programs for museums on February 13, 2012 including:

  • All grant programs will have the same deadline:  January 15.  This will require organizations to have sufficient capacity to prepare several applications at one time during the busy holiday and year end season.
  • Conservation grants are now part of the broader Museums for America (MFA) grant program.  Organizations can no longer apply for separate conservation and MFA grants–they have to choose one.
  • 21st Century Museum Professionals and National Leadership Grants have been combined.  Applicants (particularly museum associations) will now have to choose one and can’t do both.

It seems the public and museum field had no opportunity to comment on these changes, however, some of the additional issues that have been raised are:

  • With this consolidation, it reduces the number of grants available to the museum field.  It is particularly vexing when Continue reading

2012 WebWise Conference Registration Is Open

Registration is now open for the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) WebWise Conference, which will take place February 29th-March 2nd at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace in Baltimore, MD. Today conference organizers announced that actor and literacy champion LeVar Burton has been chosen as one of the keynote speakers. Burton will speak on the morning of March 1.

A signature initiative of IMLS, the WebWise Conference annually brings together representatives of museums, libraries, archives, systems science, education, and other fields to explore the many opportunities made possible by digital technologies. George Mason University’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (CHNM), partnering with the Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC), is helping to organize the conference.  Historic sites and historic house museums are rarely in attendance, but this is a great conference so I’ll share what I’ve learned on this blog. Continue reading