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The President’s Budget Request for IMLS

February 16, 2012

By Susan Hildreth
Director, IMLS

This week the President released his FY 2013 budget request to Congress. The request for IMLS demonstrates a vote of support for libraries and museums as essential to the educational ecosystem of the U.S. With opportunities for learning and cultural engagement, our 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums are of great value to the future of competitiveness and innovation in the U.S.  The budget request is fully aligned with the agency’s new strategic plan, Creating a Nation of Learners.

We know that millions of people visit U.S. libraries and museums each year and depend upon them to be trusted sources of information. At a time when many public agencies are envisioning new futures with limited resources and increased public demand, IMLS is providing leadership to help institutions make smart, strategic decisions. IMLS grants, research, and policy outreach are helping American museums and libraries contribute to a vision of a democratic society where communities and individuals thrive with broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning.

We have five big goals for the agency:

  • Learning: IMLS places the learner at the center and supports engaging experiences in libraries and museums that prepare people to be full participants in their local communities and our global society.
  • Community: IMLS promotes museums and libraries as strong community anchors that enhance civic engagement, cultural opportunities, and economic vitality.
  • Content: IMLS supports exemplary stewardship of museum and library collections and promotes the use of technology to facilitate discovery of knowledge and cultural heritage.
  • Access: IMLS advises the President and Congress on plans, policies, and activities that sustain and increase public access to information and ideas.
  • Model Agency: IMLS achieves excellence in public management and performs as a model organization through strategic alignment of IMLS resources and prioritization of programmatic activities, maximizing value for the American public.

Please take a moment to review these documents and contribute your thoughts.