The Issue: Appropriations for Institute of Museum and Library Services' Office of Museum Services
America is home to upwards of 35,000 museums that attract more than 850 million visitors annually. Their collections consist of hundreds of millions of objects, artifacts, and living specimens in the fields of art, history, science, and specialized disciplines, needing constant care and protection. They hold these collections on behalf of the public.
Dedicated to sustaining a nation of learners, the Office of Museum Services (OMS), within the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), awards grants to museums to enable them to carry out educational programs and to care for their collections. OMS supports all types of museums including art, history, science, children’s, specialized institutions, and living collections, such as zoos and aquariums.
IMLS was reauthorized in 2010, with approval by voice vote in the House and unanimous consent in the Senate, demonstrating broad bipartisan support for a funding authorization of $38.6 million. The reauthorization legislation was championed by Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Jack Reed (D-RI).