Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Pontiff and Social networking tools

Web surfers can now send or receive virtual postcards of Pope Benedict XVI from their Facebook friends through a new Facebook application. The Vatican is taking new, technologically savvy steps to bring its message to social networking sites and smartphones. Also available on the Pope2You portal is an application for iPhone and iPod Touch that gives surfers video and audio news on the pope's trips and speeches, as well as on Catholic events worldwide. As early as January, Pope Benedict got his own YouTube channel, this is now linked to the portal.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

President Obama supports Libraries and Museums in budget allocation

Washington, DC—President Obama has requested $265,556,000 for fiscal year 2010 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The request, which was transmitted to Congress today, represents an increase of $1,453,000 over the FY 2009 enacted level for the Institute’s programs and administration. The proposed budget will support museums and libraries as they provide unparalleled value to the public, fuel knowledge sharing, and energize our economy, creativity, and competitiveness.
“We are pleased to have President Obama’s support for the nation’s museums and libraries,” said Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Director of IMLS. “With this proposed budget, IMLS looks forward to continued support of these institutions as they connect people to information and ideas.”
The President requested $213,240,000 for the nation’s 123,000 libraries. Of that amount, approximately 80 percent is distributed through the Grants to States program to the State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and freely associated state, according to a population-based formula. These grants help libraries meet the community needs, use technology to develop new service models and reach underserved populations. Library funding also supports:

- National Leadership Grants to support creation of new tools, research, models, services, practices, or alliances to shape tomorrow’s libraries;
- Native American and Native Hawaiian Library Services Grants to support improved access to library services for Native Americans, Alaska Native Villages, and Native Hawaiians; and the
- Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grants that build the professional capacity of libraries by improving staff knowledge and skills.

In support of the nation’s 17,500 museums, the President requested $35,182,000 for the following grant programs:
- Museums for America, a program that strengthens museums as active resources for lifelong learning and as community assets.
- The 21st Century Museum Professionals program, which supports projects that address the preparation of museum professionals for the future by updating and expanding their knowledge and skills.
- The Conservation Project Support program, which helps museums identify conservation needs and priorities and perform activities to ensure the safekeeping of their collections.
- National Leadership Grants to support creation of new tools, research, models, services, practices, or alliances to shape tomorrow’s museums.
- The Native American and Native Hawaiian Museum Services program, which enables Native American tribes, Alaska Native villages or corporations, and organizations that primarily serve Native Hawaiians to benefit their communities and audiences through strengthened museum services.
- The Museum Grants for African American History and Culture program, which builds professional capacity in the African American museum community.
- The Museum Assessment Program, which provides technical assistance to help institutions assess their strengths and weaknesses and plan for the future.
- The Conservation Assessment Program, which assists small museums in laying the groundwork for effective collections management.

The President’s budget also provides continued support for research and policy activities in the Office of Policy, Planning, Research, and Communications.