UIUC and State Library Awarded IMLS Grants

Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL)

April 16, 2016

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has announced the winners of the first round of grants for the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. Forty grants, totaling just over $13 million, have been awarded so far this year. The National Leadership Grants are given for projects that address major challenges in librarianship and archives, especially in devising new tools or services that can be used throughout the profession. The Laura Bush 21st Century grants are awarded based on a project’s potential to recruit and train future library staff, faculty, and leaders.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Mortenson Center for International Programs received a National Leadership Grant of almost $50,000. The grant will go towards funding “Project Welcome”, which will address the information and research needs of refugee populations in the United States. The Center, in collaboration with the American Library Association, will develop a plan for creating resources, services, and training for helping integrate refugees and asylum-seekers into American society. The Project will benefit public libraries and refugee organizations, by improving collaboration between libraries and other community institutions.

The Illinois State Library has received a grant of almost $523,000 through the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians Program. The award will fund a training program in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that will enhance the services and programs libraries can offer ASD patients and their families, particularly by designing library spaces and services to make libraries more “autism-friendly”. Through collaboration with Dominican University, the State Library will offer in-person training for library staff. The State Library will also partner with Syracuse University to create a series of online training modules and will hold two forums annually for ASD practitioners and librarians. The end result of these projects will be to improve education on ASD and libraries, and to increase collaboration nationally by building a network of support for ASD services in libraries.

For more information on the grant programs, including the full lists of winners, go here.

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