A staff member points out tropical butterflies at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, WA.

IMLS Vision

A nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities.

IMLS Mission

The mission of IMLS is to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development.

IMLS Strategic Goals

  1. Promote Lifelong Learning: IMLS supports learning and literacy for people of all ages through museums and libraries.

  2. Build Capacity: IMLS strengthens the capacity of museums and libraries to improve the well-being of their communities.

  3. Increase Public Access: IMLS makes strategic investments that increase access to information, ideas, and networks through libraries and museums.

  4. Achieve Excellence: IMLS strategically aligns its resources and relationships to support libraries and museums nationwide.

Fast Facts

  • Museums pump more than $50 billion into the U.S. economy annually, support more than 726,000 American jobs, generate $12 billion in tax revenue, and spur tourism from around the world.
  • People visited America’s public libraries about 1.3 billion times in 2018.
  • Children who visited a museum during kindergarten had higher achievement scores in reading, mathematics, and science in third grade than children who did not.
  • More than 172 million people in America have library cards.
  • Museums receive more than 55 million visits each year from student groups.
  • Over 99.7% of public libraries offer free access to the Internet.
  • Volunteers contribute over a million hours of service to museums each week. 

The IMLS 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, Transforming Communities, is available here.