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Awards to USA Libraries and Museums
for Outstanding Contributions to Local Communities

National Medal for Museum and Library Service

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

Deadline Date:

11/01/21 11:59 PM ET

Description:

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Awards to USA and territories libraries and museums for outstanding community contributions. The purpose of the awards program is to honor institutions that demonstrate innovative and exemplary approaches to serving local communities. Museums and libraries of all sizes and types may be nominated.

The National Medals program recognizes outstanding libraries and museums of all types and sizes that deeply impact their communities by:

  • Fostering a lifelong passion for learning for all people, nourishing curiosity and imagination from early childhood through adulthood, for people of all abilities and needs;
  • Providing access to information through advancing digital capacity, focusing on digital inclusion and access to digital and informational resources, including e-books and materials to help address workforce development and public health;
  • Transforming the lives of community members by being trusted community spaces for convening, connection, and conversation; enlightenment and shared thoughts and opinions; and preserving natural and cultural heritage and community memory; and/or
  • Continuing to engage their communities during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and planning for the institution’s future, with enhanced focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, through providing information, programming, and services virtually, or taking innovative and imaginative steps toward continuing services and reopening their physical spaces.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182179

Number of Grants:

Fifteen libraries and fifteen museums will be selected as finalists, for a total of thirty. From these finalists, three museums and three libraries will then be selected to receive National Medals.

Estimated Size of Grant:

In addition to the Medal, IMLS may provide a monetary award.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Who is eligible for a National Medal?

For museums:

- Aquariums, Arboretums/Botanical Gardens, Art Museums, Children’s/Youth Museums, General Museums, Historic Houses/Sites, History Museums, Natural History/Anthropology Museums, Nature Centers, Planetariums, Science/Technology Museums, Specialized Museums, and Zoos may be nominated for the National Medal for Museum Service if they are either a unit of State or local government or a private nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code;
- Are located in one of the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau; and
- Qualify as a museum that, using a professional staff, is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational or aesthetic purposes; owns or uses tangible objects, either animate or inanimate; cares for these objects; and exhibits these objects to the general public on a regular basis through facilities that it owns or operates.
- A public or private nonprofit agency that is responsible for the operation of a museum may be nominated if it manages a museum.

For libraries:

- Academic and Research Libraries/Archives, Digital Libraries, Library Associations, Library Consortia, Public Libraries, Research Libraries/Archives that make information available to the public and that are not an integral part of an institution of higher learning, Public School Libraries, Tribal Libraries, and Private or Special Libraries that are considered libraries as determined by the State in which they are located, may be nominated for the National Medal for Library Service. They should also be either a unit of State or local government or be a private nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code; and
- Located in one of the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau.

Previous library or museum medal recipients may be nominated again after ten years.

Libraries or museums that employ or are affiliated with a current member of the National Museum and Library Services Board (NMLSB) are not eligible for a National Medal, by resolution of the NMLSB.

Pre-Application Information:

Submissions are due Monday, November 1, 2021 by 11:59 pm ET.
All National Medalist nominees will be notified of their status in the spring of 2022.

Anyone, including the organization’s employees, board members, members of its community, and elected officials, may nominate a museum or library for this honor, may nominate a library or museum.

If someone outside the organization wants to make a nomination, they should notify the museum or library directly and ask them to complete and submit the Nomination Form.

If an organization self-nominates, it needs to submit the Nomination Form.
Congressional staff should contact IMLS for instructions on nominating organizations in their districts.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Nomination Form: https://www.imls.gov/form/national-medal

Letters of support must be emailed to nationalmedals@imls.gov.

For questions about the nomination process, please contact:
Libraries: Laura McKenzie at lmckenzie@imls.gov
Museums: Mark Feitl at mfeitl@imls.gov
For all other questions: nationalmedals@imls.gov

Phone: 202-653-4657
955 L'Enfant Plaza North, SW, Suite 4000
Washington, D.C. 20024-2135

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

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