IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries

May 20 2020

IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries

Grants for NonprofitsThe Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recognizes the challenges facing museums and libraries at this time, including the adaptations and adjustments that will be necessary to rebuild staffing, reopen facilities, and address the needs of communities affected by the impact of a global crisis. The goal of this grant program is to support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic in ways that meet the immediate and future COVID-19 needs of the communities and audiences they serve.

Program Description

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has provided funds to the Institute of Museum and Library Services “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus…to expand digital network access, purchase internet accessible devices, and provide technical support services” for the benefit of communities impacted by the public health emergency.

The IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries grant program invites project proposals that focus on preserving jobs, training staff, addressing the digital divide, planning for reopening, and providing technical support and capacity building for digital inclusion and engagement while prioritizing services for high-need communities. They encourage efforts to develop programs, tools, models, partnerships, and other resources that will address immediate concerns and have the potential to inspire and benefit museums and libraries throughout the nation.

Applicants are encouraged to prioritize services for high-need communities.

What are high-need communities?

To reflect the priorities outlined in the CARES Act, we ask applicants addressing digital inclusion and related technical support needed by their communities or target audiences to design their projects using the following types of data:

  • Economic Indicators, including but not limited to:
    • Poverty rates
    • Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP) participation rates
    • Unemployment rates
    • Broadband availability and adoption

Applicants may wish to explore the data for these and other variables posted by the United States Census Bureau (including COVID-19 Demographic and Economic Resources) as they develop their proposals.

Program Contacts

Christopher J. Reich
Chief Administrator, Office of Museum Services
[email protected]

Anthony D. Smith
Associate Deputy Director, Office of Library Services
[email protected]


June 12, 2020


View a recorded webinar to learn more about the IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries.

IMLS News & Updates

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is closely monitoring COVID-19 and its impact on museums, libraries, and the communities they serve. They have created a page on their website to provide Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates relevant to the museum and library community.

IMLS Mission

The mission of IMLS is to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development.