WA Secretary of State Blogs

The impact of IMLS on Washington: A story told in maps

Here at the State Library we love maps.  We have a large number of maps in our collection, some which have been digitized and many, many more in our stacks. In recent years we’ve fallen in love with something called Storymaps, which is a web platform that allows you to create maps to tell a story.  As our service area includes the entire state we’ve found it to be a fun and different way to tell the State Library’s story.  Many of the maps we have shared are about projects we’ve sponsored using funds from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

This year IMLS is celebrating its 20th Anniversary.  IMLS is the branch of the federal government which supports libraries and museums around the country “to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development.” (1).  The IMLS funds that the State Library receives are transformed into grants and programs which support libraries all over Washington.  For IMLS’s 20th anniversary we thought we’d re-share some of the maps we’ve made.

Click on each image to be taken to the corresponding Storymap. The first is really the mother-lode featuring eleven different programs.  Public, Academic, Special and Tribal libraries all show up in these maps.  Make sure that you click on the icons as they provide more information about each library.

The next map represents the outcome of a grant that we gave to 230 school libraries, sending each library an age appropriate treasure box of books related to the STEM subjects.

And finally we come to our traveling STEM kits.  The kids (and adults) think they are playing but in addition, we are helping Washington youth gain a comfort with everything from coding to engineering. This kits and more are still circulating around the state.



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