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Friday, March 17, 2017

What Has the IMLS Ever Done For Us? A Lot!

Now that its future is in question, I've been thinking about LSTA funding, which comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.   I've been considering what it has allowed us to do in our system, and in Wisconsin.  It's a lot of things.  Here's what I can think of off the top of my head (meaning I'm missing many more):

  • Growing Wisconsin Readers, an initiative that provided continuing education, partnership, and public awareness opportunities that have had long-ranging ripple effects.
  • The Youth Services Institute, a transformative experience for rural librarians who have participated in the past.  (For a great description of it, see this guest post)
  • Providing subsidies to libraries to make MORE more affordable
  • Education and resources to help libraries get a handle on new media for young children
  • Education and resources to help libraries communicate with families about early literacy practices and skills
  • Maker Kits (the extensive Maker Kits created by WVLS were LSTA-funded)
  • Storytime Kits
  • Education and resources to help libraries serve preschoolers, teens, and adults on the autism spectrum
  • Education and resources to help libraries serve job-seekers
  • The Coding Initiative in Wisconsin
  • Outstanding leadership from staff members at DPI, many of whose positions are funded all or in-part by LSTA.
This is a partial list.  More will occur to me as soon as I post. Many of these programs have had significant ripple effects, allowing for partnerships, relationships, improved services, improved visibility for libraries, and improved outcomes for families and individuals, in the long run.