The following is a text-only press release from the federal Institute of
Museum and Library Services (IMLS). An HTML version of this release can
be read on the agency's Web site at

June 16, 2010
IMLS Press Contacts 


Jeannine Mjoseth, [log in to unmask]
Mamie Bittner, [log in to unmask]

Jennifer Mandel, [log in to unmask]

IMLS Launches National Campaign to Promote 21st Century Skills and
Community Engagement

Washington, DC - The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has
announced a national campaign aimed at engaging museums, libraries, and
civic leaders in meeting the 21st century learning needs of their

The national campaign, Making the Learning Connection, is intended to
help communities assess their needs and contribute to a shared vision
for 21st century learning.  It includes an eight-city workshop tour, a
national contest, new online tools and resources, and a series of
interactive webinars. 

The eight-city tour kicks off on June 21 at the Walters Art Museum in
Baltimore.  The tour will provide an opportunity for museum, library,
and other community leaders to discuss the 21st century learning
landscape of their city and explore strategies for furthering 21st
century learning goals.  

"Museums and libraries play a crucial role in helping learners of all
generations develop necessary 21st century skills such as critical
thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, communication
and collaboration," said Marsha L. Semmel, IMLS acting director.
"Libraries and museums are in touch with the challenges their
communities face and uniquely positioned to create networks to support
learning and positively impact a common future." 

The Making the Learning Connection campaign is part of IMLS' continuing
initiative to engage libraries and museums, community stakeholders and
policymakers to meet the educational, economic, civic, and cultural
needs of communities. This campaign builds upon the release of Museums,
Libraries and 21st Century Skills, which provides an online
self-assessment for libraries and museums to encourage a strategic
approach to 21st century learning and a report for library and museum
practitioners and policymakers.

"We are thrilled to host the inaugural workshop in this important series
that will help create 21st century skills action plans for communities
across the country," said Gary Vikan, director of the Walters Art
Museum. "In Baltimore, in order to have an engaged citizenry and
competitive workforce, we must provide interesting, relevant, and
engaging learning opportunities for individuals of all ages." 

Workshop participants will leave each session with a better
understanding of the role museums and libraries play in the learning
landscape. Each workshop will end with a defined set of action steps to
ensure museums, libraries, and community stakeholders continue to
collaborate in order to meet the 21st century learning needs of their

In the coming months, IMLS will announce the other workshop tour stops,
dates for webinars, and contest details. 

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 17,500 museums.
The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that
connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the
national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to
sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and
innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about
the Institute, please visit