Washington, DC–The Institute of Museum and Library Services invites
proposals for a cooperative agreement to support Connecting to
Collections: The National Tour, a series of four meetings, to be held in
major American cities during 2008 and 2009. The forums will build on the
success of the national summit on collections care recently held in
Washington, D.C. The application deadline is August 17, 2007, and the
cooperative agreement will be awarded September 7, 2007.

The goal of the National Tour is to raise awareness of the importance of
collections care among representatives of small and mid-sized museums
and libraries. It will also provide the audience with
conservation/preservation tools to begin addressing the challenges
outlined in the Heritage Health Index (HHI,
www.heritagepreservation.org/hhi). This first major survey of the state
of our nation´s collections, supported by IMLS and Heritage
Preservation, found that 26 percent of American museums and libraries
lack environmental controls, that 65 percent of these institutions have
experienced damage to collections because of improper storage, and that
77 percent do not allocate funds specifically for conservation or
preservation.

All four meetings will focus on collections care expertise, technology
and collections care, connecting to the public, and fundraising. Each
meeting will also explore a particular issue in
conservation/preservation facing museums and libraries today. The
anticipated schedule includes:

* Atlanta, Georgia, on January 24-25, 2008. The forum, which will be
held at the High Museum of Art, will focus on topics and issues
associated with diverse ethnic and cultural collections.
* Denver, Colorado, May 1-2, 2008. The forum, which will be held at the
Denver Art Museum in collaboration with the Denver Public Library, will
focus on collaboration in the digital age.
* San Diego, California, in January 2009. The forum, to be held at the
San Diego Zoo, will focus on the care of living collections.
* Buffalo, New York, in June 2009. It is anticipated that this forum
will be held at the Art Conservation Center at Buffalo State University
and focus on training in collections care

In addition to the professionals representing small and mid-sized
museums and libraries, each meeting will include leaders from
foundations; regional and national organizations focused on conservation
and preservation; library and museum boards; and local, state, or
federal government.

Attendance is expected to be at least 150 at each forum, and IMLS
anticipates awarding 30 travel stipends to representatives from small
and mid-sized libraries and museums for each meeting. In addition, the
forums will reach 10,000 people via webcasts, DVD´s, or other
communication technologies. For more information on the request for
proposals, please go to www.imls.gov/pdf/RFPNationalTour.pdf.

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 122,000 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 www.imls.gov.

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