IMLS funds $500,000 research project to study characteristics and outcomes of library public programming
For Immediate Release
ALA Public Programs Office
CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office has received a $512,000 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for a research project to understand and document the characteristics, audiences, outcomes and value of U.S. library public programming.
“Libraries have expanded from collection holders and lenders to centers for lifelong experiential learning, hubs for civic and cultural gatherings, and partners in community-wide innovation. Although data has been gathered for usage, popularity and the match of programs to community need for decades, contemporary data-gathering must be expanded and integrated into programs to illustrate 21st-century impact," said ALA President Julie Todaro. “This initiative will give us the data we need to better understand the critical impact of library programming and prepare future generations of library professionals to excel in this work.”
The project, National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment (NILPPA): Phase I, will implement the first research recommendation that came out of an IMLS National Leadership planning grant in 2014. To read the December 2014 NILPPA white paper, visit http://nilppa.newknowledge.org/.
The first-of-its-kind project, conducted in collaboration with New Knowledge Organization think tank, will bring together a network of researchers, practitioner-researchers, and advisors to answer two research questions: How can we characterize and categorize public programs offered by libraries today? And what competencies and training are required for professionals working with library programming?
A series of surveys will be disseminated to library practitioners to help map the existing landscape of library public programming, including program types, topics, formats, audiences, partner relationships and current competencies, and also to identify those skills required in the field that, perhaps, are not being adequately taught in formal learning settings.
NILPPA: Phase I is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant number LG-96-17-0048-17.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 55,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
About the ALA Public Programs Office
ALA’s Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help thousands of librarians nationwide develop and host cultural programs for adult, young adult and family audiences. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to promote cultural programming as an essential part of library service in all types of libraries. Projects include book and film discussion series, literary and cultural programs featuring authors and artists, professional development opportunities and traveling exhibitions. School, public, academic and special libraries nationwide benefit from the office’s programming initiatives.
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 123,000 libraries and approximately 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our 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 www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.