Treasured objects and artifacts held by the Bridgton Historical Society will be preserved for future generations with help from the IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, a core set of conservation books, DVDs, and online resources donated by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal funding of the nation’s museums and libraries. IMLS and its cooperator, the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), will award a total of 2,000 free sets of the IMLS Bookshelf by the end of 2008.
"We are pleased to announce the first group of IMLS Bookshelf recipients. These small libraries and museums are taking up the charge to care for America’s heritage," said Anne-Imelda Radice, Director of IMLS. "A recent national study tells a sobering story about the state of America’s library and museum collections. Without immediate action we stand to lose important collections that are at the heart of the American story."
The Bridgton Historical Society is among the first to receive this essential set of resources based on an application describing the needs and plans for care of its collections. The IMLS Bookshelf focuses on collections typically found in art or history museums and in libraries' special collections, with an added selection of texts for zoos, aquaria, public gardens, and nature centers. It addresses such topics as the philosophy and ethics of collecting, collections management and planning, emergency preparedness, and culturally specific conservation issues.
The IMLS Bookshelf is a crucial component of Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action, a conservation initiative that the Institute launched in 2006. IMLS began the initiative in response to a 2005 study by Heritage Preservation documenting the dire state of the nation’s collections. The multi-faceted, multi-year initiative shines a nationwide spotlight on the needs of America’s collections, especially those held by smaller institutions, which often lack the human and financial resources necessary to adequately care for their collections.
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.