Communities for Immunity awards funding to 50 additional museums and libraries to advance vaccine confidence

For Immediate Release
Thu, 12/09/2021


Michael Dowling


Chapter Relations Office

American Library Association

Washington, DC, and Arlington, VA—A coalition of national museum and library associations today announced the recipients of the second round of funding for Communities for Immunity.

Supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Communities for Immunity provides funding awards and support to museums and libraries engaging their communities to boost COVID-19 vaccine confidence. As trusted community partners, museums and libraries play a critical role in building vaccine confidence and fighting the pandemic.

“Through this unprecedented partnership, Communities for Immunity is providing nearly 100 museums, libraries, and tribal organizations across the country with over $1.6 million over two rounds of funding to help their community members make well-informed decisions about COVID-19 and vaccinations,” said Laura Lott, President and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums. “These organizations are linchpins in helping bring an end to the pandemic and leading their communities into a brighter, healthier future.”

“Battling a global pandemic necessarily requires organizational partnerships of this unprecedented scale and magnitude,” said American Library Association executive director Tracie D. Hall. “Together, libraries, museums, science and public health organizations can create a network to disrupt misinformation and provide their communities with the knowledge needed for disease containment and hopefully, prevention.”

Among the 50 projects funded in this second round are two “moonshot awards” of $75,000–$100,000:

  • The C Williams Rush Museum of African American Arts & Culture in Kingstree, South Carolina, will highlight the accomplishments of Black medical personnel from South Carolina history to show examples of how past health threats and medical disparities have been overcome through persistence, education, and science. The museum will also convene six cohorts of conversations between museum staff, medical professionals, unvaccinated Black men—and recently vaccinated individuals—to answer questions and discuss the benefits of vaccination.
  • The Kansas City Public Library in Kansas City, Missouri, will combine in-person approaches at multiple library branches and mailed materials to reach a large number of vaccine hesitant individuals in their region. They will also be preserving and sharing the stories of previously vaccine hesitant individuals who were later vaccinated, translating materials into new languages, offering vaccine clinics at their branches, and facilitating conversations between youth and medical professionals about the vaccine. 


Overall, Round Two awards range from $1,500 to $100,000 and programs have a broad range of scope. Other examples of proposed programs include:

  • Quapaw Nation of Oklahoma plans to host four vaccine clinics for the tribal community, staff a hotline to answer questions about the vaccines—and market both offerings to the community.
  • The Alaska Library Network will work with a range of partners to translate and disseminate vaccine information throughout the State of Alaska, including broad distribution through the Statewide Library Electronic Door.
  • The Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville, Arkansas will work with partners to develop and disseminate information directed at caregivers for young children and host at least eight vaccination clinics during times that the museum tends to attract an especially diverse collection of visitors.

“We’ve been pleased to see so many museums, libraries, and tribal organizations eager to play a role in working with their communities to address the urgent issue of vaccination,” said Christofer Nelson, President and CEO of the Association of Science and Technology Centers. “These awardees are not only helping lead us out of the pandemic, but showing how some of the country’s most trusted organizations can and do play an essential role in addressing the challenges we face as communities and as a society.”

Round Two awards will be provided to the following 50 museums, libraries, and tribal organizations serving urban, suburban, and rural populations across 33 states:

Alaska Library Network

Anchorage, AK

Polynesian Association of Alaska

Anchorage, AK

Scott Family Amazeum

Bentonville, AR

Lawrence Hall of Science

Berkeley, CA

Basalt Regional Library

Basalt, CO

SHU Discovery Science Center and Planetarium

Bridgeport, CT

Pensacola MESS Hall

Pensacola, FL

High Museum of Art

Atlanta, GA

Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System

Augusta, GA

Gwinnett County Public Library

Lawrenceville, GA

Trickster Cultural Center

Schaumburg, IL

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Inc.

Indianapolis, IN

Pulaski County Public Library

Winamac, IN

Northeast Kansas Library System

Lawrence, KS

T.R.E.E. House Children's Museum

Alexandria, LA

Springfield Museums Corporation

Springfield, MA

The Peale

Baltimore, MD

Takoma Park Maryland Library

Takoma Park, MD

Dearborn Public Library

Dearborn, MI

Kansas City Public Library

Kansas City, MO

The National Blues Museum

St. Louis, MO

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center

Gulfport, MS

Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, Health Department

Great Falls, MT


Helena, MT

University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area

Missoula, MT

Kidzu Children's Museum

Chapel Hill, NC


Albuquerque, NM

DISCOVERY Children's Museum

Las Vegas, NV

Redhawk Native American Arts Council

Brooklyn, NY

American Museum of Natural History

New York, NY

McKinley Presidential Library & Museum

Canton, OH

Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County

Mount Vernon, OH 

Healdton Community Library part of Southern Oklahoma Library System

Healdton, OK

Science Museum Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, OK

Quapaw Nation of Oklahoma

Quapaw, OK

Jackson County Library Services

Medford, OR

Western Oregon University

Monmouth, OR

Carnegie Science Center

Pittsburgh, PA

Providence Children's Museum

Providence, RI

Richland Library

Columbia, SC

C Williams Rush Museum of African-American Arts & Culture

Kingstree, SC

Discovery Center at Murfree Spring

Murfreesboro, TN


Austin, TX

The DoSeum

San Antonio, TX

Witte Museum

San Antonio, TX

Hyrum City Museum

Hyrum, UT

Discovery Gateway Children's Museum

Salt Lake City, UT


“Credible, science-based research and information put forth by our trusted museums, including science and technology centers, libraries, and others in our cultural and educational universe is the key to vanquishing the pandemic,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “We are happy to support this important partnership.”

Communities for Immunity is an initiative of the Association of Science and Technology CentersInstitute of Museum and Library ServicesAmerican Alliance of Museums, and the Network of the National Library of Medicine, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in collaboration with the American Library Association, the Association of African American Museums, the Association of Children’s Museums, the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, and the Urban Libraries Council.

Communities for Immunity builds on a number of earlier and ongoing efforts to activate engagement in vaccine confidence work, including REopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM), a research partnership between OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle; Vaccines & US, led by the Smithsonian and in collaboration with a range of partner organizations and individuals; Vaccinate with Confidence from the CDC; We Can Do This from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and the It’s Up to You campaign led by the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative.

Learn more about Communities for Immunity.

About the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)

Founded in 1973, ASTC is a network of nearly 700 science and technology centers and museums, and allied organizations, engaging more than 110 million people annually across North America and in almost 50 countries. With its members and partners, ASTC works towards a vision of increased understanding of—and engagement with—science and technology among all people. For more information, visit

About the American Alliance of Museums (AAM)

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. IMLS advances, supports, and empowers America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. IMLS’s vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world. For more information about CDC, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

About the American Library Association (ALA)

Founded in 1876, ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world and the foremost national organization providing resources to support library and information professionals in transforming their communities through essential services, programs, and outreach. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, communicating the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit American Library Association.

About the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM)

The mission of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public’s health by providing U.S. researchers, health professionals, public health workforce, educators, and the public with equal access to biomedical and health information resources and data. NNLM’s main goals are to work through libraries and other members to support a highly trained workforce for biomedical and health information resources and data, improve health literacy, and advance health equity through information. NNLM engages meaningfully with current and future audiences to increase information access, with priority for Underrepresented Populations. NNLM members are the “field force” or trusted ambassadors for NLM products and services, providing information services, engagement, and instruction, or funding for projects to do the same, to the public, researchers, health professionals, and public health workforce.