Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $1 Million In Federal Funding For Academic, Cultural, Research Institutions In New York State

Sep 5, 2017

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,065,138 in federal funding for New York State through the Institute of Museum and Library Services’s (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program and National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program. Specifically, the Research Foundation of the State University of New York, New York University, the Council of State Archivists, Rhizome Communications, Inc., Pratt Institute, and the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York received funding to improve electronic records and advance community-based projects.

“Libraries and academic institutions are vital to our democratic society because they provide citizens with access to important educational resources,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “This $1 million in federal funding will help some of New York’s top institutions research the best ways to archive, digitize and improve access to these much-needed resources. I will continue to support the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) so that our libraries and academia can continue their great work.”

“The lives of New Yorkers are richer because of educational projects and initiatives funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These federal funds will provide several of our state’s great institutions with additional resources to upgrade archiving systems and electronic records to make information more accessible and available for research. I will continue to fight for federal funding that supports these essential community institutions.”  

“The Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is honored to have been selected by the Institute of Museum & Library Services to receive a National Leadership Grant for Libraries,” says Theresa A. Pardo, PhD, Director of CTG. “This project, led by CTG’s Associate Research Director Mila Gascó, will create new understanding of public libraries as community catalysts for collaborative engagement among local governments, citizens, and other stakeholders in smart city initiatives.”

“With so much of contemporary life reliant on digital technologies, privacy in the digital world has become increasingly important. And with almost weekly news reports about massive intrusions into digital privacy, people need to know how to protect their digital information. We are greatful that IMLS has recognized the leading role that Libraries can play in educating our population to protect their privacy. New York University and the Library Freedom Project plan to work with public libraries around the country to promote privacy education in local communities,” said Howard Besser, NYU Professor and Project Director.

“IMLS funding will allow the Council of State Archivists’ State Electronic Records Initiative to take a very important step toward raising awareness of electronic records management and digital preservation with a variety of state government stakeholders,” said Council of State Archivists’ Executive Director Anne W. Ackerson. “The rapidly expanding growth of electronic records in requires government agencies and elected and appointed officials to understand that even tweets and email can be critical to keeping government transparent and accountable. The IMLS ACCESS project will help us strengthen this message and allow us to collaborate with stakeholders toward this end.”

“As part of its mission to champion born-digital art and culture, Rhizome has pioneered new approaches to preserving the personalized, dynamic web of today, such as the Webrecorder system. We are thrilled to receive this grant, which will allow us to work with our partners, the University of California at Riverside Library (UCR), the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), and the Documenting the Now project, and our host institution, the New Museum, to convene a vital national discussion about how to protect the interests of users and communities while safeguarding the heritage of the web we love,” said Michael Connor, Artistic Director, Rhizome.

“We are thrilled that the IMLS will be supporting a project in the heart of New York City at Pratt Institute’s School of Information: Dr. Cristina’s Pattuelli’s project “DADAlytics: A Tool to Steer Digital Culture Heritage to the Semantic Web.” We expect this project will lead to great insight and make significant progress in developing tools that help expose and connect the digital cultural heritage content held by libraries, archives and museums. This work will positively impact researchers, students, and anyone interested in discovering cultural heritage content through the web,” said Dr. Anthony Cocciolo, Interim Dean, Pratt Institute School of Information.

“The Media Center at Columbia University is honored and delighted with this grant from the IMLS. IMLS’s support is a great contribution to the Media Center’s mission. This generous grant will be instrumental in the Center’s research on harnessing new technologies to transform education and research in the field of Art History while preserving knowledge through maintaining access to past visual collections,” said Stefaan Van Liefferinge, Director of Media Center for Art History.

Below is a breakdown of funding awards.


Project Description


Research Foundation of State University of New York

The Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany, in partnership with the American Library Association’s Center for the Future of Libraries, will explore the role of public libraries as community anchors and participation in city initiatives.


New York University

New York University, in partnership with the Library Freedom Project, will facilitate the use of practical privacy tools in libraries and their communities through the development of a privacy-focused train-the-trainer program for librarians, known as the Library Freedom Institute (LFI).


Council of State Archivists

The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) will gather, develop, and share best practices and guidance materials to improve creation, management, preservation, and use of permanent state government digital records and information. CoSA will collaborate with the National Governors Association (NGA), the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), as well as content creators in state government and users of government data, to help improve preservation and the use of permanent state government electronic records.


Rhizome Communications, Inc.

Rhizome, in collaboration with the University of California at Riverside (UCR) Library, the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), and the Documenting the Now project, will design and host a National Forum on Ethics in Web Archiving.


Pratt Institute

The School of Information at Pratt Institute will develop a prototype used to generate archival documents.


Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York

A team from the Media Center for Art History at Columbia University will apply image processing, deep learning, and optical character recognition (OCR) techniques to investigate methods for automated processing and data to support archival discovery.


The Institute of Museum and Library Services is an independent, federal agency and the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. The IMLS’s mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. The agency’s grant-making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.