Major Grant to MHS to Promote 21st Century Skills for Libraries, Historical Societies, and Schools
September 27, 2010
Portland, ME – Maine Historical Society (MHS), in partnership with the Maine State Library (MSL), has been awarded a $745,313 National Leadership Grant by the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) to expand the training and support available to local historical societies, libraries, and schools who participate in the Maine Memory Network (www.mainememory.net).
The three-year program has two primary components: (1) a statewide professional development program designed to help library, museum, and education professionals use local history to mobilize their communities and encourage the development of 21st Century Skills; and (2) a rigorous, stipend-supported outreach program that will provide extensive guidance, training, and support to local teams as they digitize local historical collections, develop online exhibits, and/or create comprehensive websites dedicated to the history of their communities.
Richard D’Abate, Executive Director of Maine Historical Society, says: “This is an important grant. It recognizes that museums and libraries will play a newly critical role in developing and nurturing 21st century communities, and it takes our project here in Maine as a national model. What’s more, it means that Maine people will soon have vastly expanded online access to historical information. We couldn’t be happier.”
According to Steve Bromage, Assistant Director of Maine Historical Society: “This grant will ensure that any community in Maine who wants to share historical collections and stories online through Maine Memory can. Through the process, all participants—local historians, librarians, teachers, and students in particular—will develop technology skills, and learn to partner and share resources with organizations in their communities more effectively.”
Linda Lord, Director of the Maine State Library, added: “Maine libraries continue to demonstrate the valuable role they can play in their communities in the digital age. This grant will increase their capacity to do just that, and deepen the connections they share with other cultural organizations and schools. We are thrilled.”
The program grows out of an intensive pilot project—the Maine Community Heritage Project (www.mainememory.net/mchp)—that enabled Maine Historical Society to develop, test, and refine the program philosophy, components, supporting resources, and technological infrastructure that will support this program. The program will extend and nurture the robust infrastructure created to support the Maine Memory Network, the statewide digital museum created by Maine Historical Society which includes a network of 200 active contributing partners from every corner of the state, an interactive database of more than 20,000 primary documents, and other rich resources for learning about Maine history.
Additional details about the grant-funded program and related opportunities will be made available later this Fall.
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Maine Historical Society preserves and shares Maine's story to enrich life in contemporary Maine.