IMLS’s Learning Agenda is organized around actionable learnings to three research and evaluation priorities: child reading literacy, the future of museums, and equity grantmaking.
Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced today the development of the Agency’s first Learning Agenda in a published report “Learning Agenda: Research Questions to Guide IMLS Priorities, FY 2023–2026.” This is a research initiative that aims to deliver on its mission to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development.
The FY 2023–2026 Learning Agenda embraces IMLS’s Strategic Objective 4.1 which seeks to “maximize public investments by cultivating a culture of planning, evaluation, and evidence-based practice.” IMLS is focused on generating evidence around actionable learnings to three research and evaluation priorities: child reading literacy, the future of museums, and equity grantmaking. Each of the priorities of the Learning Agenda represents a unique focus that aligns with the Agency’s strategic objectives. Each area of focus strives to establish and advance credible, relevant, and actionable information to better meet the needs of the nation’s museums and libraries and their communities, especially those in underserved communities.
“The Learning Agenda has applied the most innovative thinking in the federal government relating to cultural institutions,” explained IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “We recognize the relevance in this opportunity as it relates to creating harmony in the citizenry of this nation.”
As part of its commitment to ongoing learning and research, IMLS is developing these Learning Agenda priorities in line with its strategic objectives and in reflection of the library and museum field needs. Where not enough is known, IMLS will develop new bases of evidence through its research and explore opportunities to expand any findings to the national level. IMLS also looks forward to applying the findings from the research to inform grantmaking and deliberations around ways to strengthen our nation’s museums and libraries and the diverse communities they serve.
IMLS’s FY 2023–2026 Learning Agenda can now be found on the Agency's website at https://www.imls.gov/publications/learning-agenda-research-questions-guide-imls-priorities-fy-2023-2026. As findings become available, they can be found at https://www.imls.gov/research-tools/data-collection/learning-agenda.
The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 encourages all federal agencies to build and use evidence to support their missions and to improve their operations. IMLS’s Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) is leading the development of the Agency’s first Learning Agenda in supporting this legislative intent. While not a CFO agency, IMLS has committed to developing this Learning Agenda in intentionally aligning its research and evaluation priorities with its strategic objectives.
IMLS plans to devote time in FY 2026 to self-evaluate the design and implementation of this first Agency Learning Agenda. These learnings are intended to inform the development of the next IMLS Strategic Plan and accompanying Learning Agenda.
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. IMLS envisions a nation where individuals and communities have access to museums and libraries to learn from and be inspired by the trusted information, ideas, and stories they contain about our diverse natural and cultural heritage. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.