For immediate release | January 31, 2018

DC Public Library, Public Library Association announce Memory Lab Network Grant recipients

Federal Grant Supports Digital Preservation Programs at Libraries

(Washington, D.C.) - People and families in seven communities moved one step closer to being able to digitize and preserve video tapes, photographs and other family keepsakes at their library. Their libraries have been awarded a Memory Lab Network Grant.

The Karuk Tribal Library (California), Houston (Texas) Public Library, Pueblo (Colorado) City-County Library, Los Angeles (California) Public Library, New Ulm (Minnesota) Public Library, Boyle County (Kentucky) Public Library and Broward County (Florida) Library are the recipients of the grant from the The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”

The finalist were selected from more than 30 applicants based on their interest and commitment; location; library system size; and population served. The DC Public Library and the Public Library Association are administering the grant.

Under the grant, the Libraries will attend a five-day in-depth digital preservation boot camp in Washington, D.C. At the camp, staff will receive digital preservation training and equipment recommendations that support their respective digital archiving programs. The project will also create training materials that other libraries can use to create similar programs.

The grant is modeled after the DC Public Library’s Memory Lab, which features technology like scanners and VCRs along with and step-by-step instructions for saving items in a digital format. Since the lab’s launch in 2016, patrons have booked more than 500 sessions and digitized more than 1,200 hours of video, audio cassettes and other personal materials.

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National Leadership Grants for Libraries are awarded by the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences to support projects that address challenges faced by the library and archive fields and that can advance library and archival practice with new tools, research findings, models, services or partnerships that can be replicated.

About PLA

The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or

About the DC Public Library

The District of Columbia Public Library is a dynamic source of information, programs, books and other library materials and services that improve the quality of life for District residents of all ages that, when combined with expert staff, helps build a thriving city. The Library provides environments that invite reading, community conversation, creative inspiration and exploration, lectures, films, computer access and use, workforce and economic development, story times for children, and much more. DC Public Library includes a soon-to-be-modernized central library and 25 neighborhood libraries and also provides services in nontraditional settings outside of the library buildings. DC Public Library enriches and nourishes the lives and minds of all District residents, provides them with the services and tools needed to transform lives, and builds and supports community throughout the District of Columbia.

About IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of federal support for the nation's approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums and related organizations. The agency’s mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Its 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 and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Related Links

Memory Lab Network Project


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)