National Medal for Museum and Library Service Grants

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Oct 1, 2019

Applicant type: Museum/Library/Zoo

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Marshall Islands; Micronesia, Federated States Of; Palau; United States; American Samoa Expand all

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The National Medal honors outstanding libraries and museums that have made significant and exceptional contributions in service to their communities. Selected institutions demonstrate extraordinary approaches to serving their constituents; they exceed expected levels of community outreach. These organizations have established themselves as community anchor institutions. Recipient institutions are honored at an awards ceremony that is held in Washington, DC. 

The Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, with the advice of the Museum and Library Services Board, selects the recipients of the National Medals. In addition to the Medal, IMLS may grant a monetary award.

Nominations should describe the:

  • population served and community needs;
  • institution's programs, services, and partnerships;
  • impact and evaluation of programs; and
  • financial sustainability.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Museums and libraries that are located in one of the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau;

  • For museums:

    • In general: Aquariums, Arboretums/Botanical Gardens, Art Museums, Children's/Youth Museums, General Museums, Historic Houses/Sites, History Museums, Natural History/Anthropology Museums, Nature Centers, Planetariums, Science/Technology Centers, Specialized Museums, and Zoos may be nominated for the National Medal for Museum Service if they are either a unit of State or local government or a private nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code;
    • qualify as a museum that, using a professional staff, is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational or aesthetic purposes; owns or uses tangible objects, either animate or inanimate; cares for these objects; and exhibits these objects to the general public on a regular basis through facilities that it owns or operates.
    • A public or private nonprofit agency which is responsible for the operation of a museum may apply on behalf of the museum.
  • For libraries:
    • In general: Academic and Research Libraries/Archives, Digital Libraries, Library Associations, Library Consortia, Public Libraries, Research Libraries/Archives that make information available to the public and that are not an integral part of an institution of higher learning, Public School Libraries, and Private or Special Libraries that are considered libraries as determined by the State in which they are located, may be nominated for the National Medal for Library Service.
    • They should also be: either a unit of State or local government or be a private nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Previous library or museum medal recipients may reapply after ten years.
  • Anyone, including the institution's employees, board members, members of its community, and elected officials, may nominate a museum or library for this honor.