IMLS awards grants to OCLC

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently awarded grants to OCLC, including two National Leadership Grants for Libraries and one Laura Bush 21st Century Grant.

National Leadership Grants for Libraries support projects that address challenges faced by the library and archive fields and that have the potential to advance library and archival practice with new tools, research findings, models, services, practices, or alliances that can be widely replicated. The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program supports projects to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, faculty and library leaders.

  • National Leadership Grant: "Assessing the Needs of Public Libraries toward Advancing the National Digital Platform." OCLC will work with the Digital Public Library of America, the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, the Public Library Association, and Association for Library Collections & Technical Services to conduct a nationwide survey of public libraries and state library agencies to identify the extent to which public libraries have digitized unique collections, obstacles, opportunities and partnerships that can impact digitization activities. Resulting data will serve as a baseline for measuring future work to increase public library participation in the national digital platform. The findings and recommendations will also help public libraries, funders, service providers, and state library agencies determine how to work cooperatively to support the digitization of collections. The grant is for $49,934.
    • Kendra Morgan will serve as Program Manager; Merrilee Proffit will serve as Project Advisor; and Sharon Streams will serve as Project Director.
  • National Leadership Grant: "Researching Students' Information Choices: Determining Identity and Judging Credibility in Digital Spaces." The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries, along with partners OCLC Research and Rutgers University School of Communication and Information will study 180 students, from primary to graduate school, working in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Using a task-based methodology, the project team will observe students' cognition in action using a think-aloud protocol and the Visitors and Residents framework to understand student choices, behaviors and rationale. Their primary data collection method will be to create and implement subject-based simulations using Articulate's Storyline software. Findings from this project will be shared with library and educational communities through workshops, webinars, and customized exercises to advance information literacy-related instruction for students in K-12, community college and university environments. The grant is for $491,822.
    • Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Ixchel Faniel will serve as Co-Principal Investigators and Erin Hood will provide research support.
  • The Laura Bush 21st Century Grant: "Coalition to Advance Learning in Archives, Libraries, and Museums" (supplement to current project). This supplemental funding will support the OCLC-facilitated cross-sector Coalition through December 2016 as it continues to devise practical interagency collaborations that extend continuing education and professional development opportunities to archives, library, and museum professionals in a cost-effective and sustainable way. The grant is for $275,572.
    • Betha Gutsche will serve as Program Manager, Anna Shelton will serve as Project Coordinator and Sharon Streams will serve as Project Director.

In addition, OCLC Research staff will support two additional grant-funded projects:

  • Jackie Dooley will serve on the advisory group for the ePADD Phase 2 project led by Stanford University Libraries, with partners University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Harvard University, University of California, Irvine, and Metropolitan New York Library Council. The ePADD Phase 2 project received a $685,129 in National Leadership Grant to advance the formation of a National Digital Platform through supporting archival processes around the appraisal, ingest, processing, discovery, and delivery of email archives.
  • Kendra Morgan will serve on the advisory board to support a $249,495 grant to Syracuse University’s Center for Digital Literacy, which will create a new website, The Innovation Destination. The site will contain resources and training materials for use by librarians to stimulate and support creative thinking in children in grades 4-8.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. The IMLS mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. IMLS grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit

See the full OCLC news release or the IMLS news release and grant announcement (pdf) for more information.

For more information:

Lorcan Dempsey
Vice President and Chief Strategist
OCLC Research

Melissa Renspie
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research