Advocacy Alert: IMLS Reauthorization Introduced in Congress

October 4, 2016—In late September Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced S. 3391, the Museum and Library Services Act of 2016, joined by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). This bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the Institute of Museum and Library Services for six years and advance many of the Principles for IMLS Reauthorization endorsed by the American Alliance of Museums. In addition to supporting the library and museum professions, IMLS has been a strong supporter of archives and archivists.

Please ask your Senators to cosponsor the act.

The legislation:

  • Formally authorizes a 21st Century Museum Professional Program, to improve the recruitment, preparation, and professional development of museum professionals, especially those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Maintains the agency’s existing authority to support museum activities at both the state and regional level, while adding regional museum collaboration to its “Purpose” section, akin to how state museum collaboration is currently referenced.
  • Adds a new emphasis on ensuring that every American has access to high-quality museum experiences to the “Purpose” section.
  • Maintains and augments the agency’s research, data collection, and analysis about museums and libraries.
  • Establishes new reporting to ensure that the agency sufficiently collaborates with library and museum organizations at the national, regional, and state level on its research and data collection activities.
  • Includes additional federal entities on the list of potential interagency partnerships, allowing IMLS to expand its collaborative efforts with other agencies and magnify support for libraries and museums.
  • Updates the agency’s governance, so that it operates more closely in alignment with other federal cultural agencies.

Ask your Senators to cosponsor the Museum and Library Services Act of 2016.

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