April 6, 2020

IMLS Authorizes New Grant Flexibilities for Libraries, Museums
How Awardees Can Address Urgent Needs Caused by COVID-19

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the first of a number of critical measures to aid museums, libraries, and communities across the nation in response to COVID-19.

The new guidelines outline how institutions with open IMLS grants may adapt their existing fund balances to address immediate needs and extend timelines for their work to accommodate the disruption caused by coronavirus. Examples include continuing to employ staff, modifying project activities to align with social distancing requirements, and covering basic costs necessary to resume work once the emergency has passed.

“Today, IMLS begins the initial phase of our response to the COVID-19 emergency with new guidelines for our existing available funds,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “We are determined to respond as quickly as possible, and that these funds have a direct, positive impact on museum and library operations and employment, and through that, on their communities.”

IMLS is committed to working with grantees to provide the maximum flexibility allowed by governing authorities. For the complete guidelines, please visit the FAQ page on the IMLS website. Topics addressed include:

  • Continuing to charge salaries and benefits to a currently active award if the work specified in the award cannot be performed due to disruption caused by COVID-19;
  • Charging costs associated with the cancellation of project events, travel, or other activities;
  • Due date extensions for reports and audits; and
  • No-cost extensions for awards.

For questions about submitting new applications, please visit the FAQ page or contact an IMLS program staff member listed on the grant program page. Please note that there are new application deadlines for five library services programs.

On March 27, the CARES Act allocated $50 million in funding for IMLS to address the COVID-related digital divide. More information on the availability of these funds will be forthcoming. For the latest information, subscribe to IMLS news and visit imls.gov/coronavirus.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.