ALA congratulates Dr. Kathryn Matthew

Dr. Kathryn Matthew, Director, IMLS

Dr. Kathryn Matthew, Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services.

U.S. Senate confirms Matthew as Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Washington, DC— In a statement, American Library Association (ALA) President Sari Feldman commented on the United States Senate’s confirmation of Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew as director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

“We commend President Obama on Dr. Matthew’s appointment and the U.S. Senate for her confirmation. Communities across the nation will greatly benefit from her experience in bringing museums and libraries and the sciences together as resources readily accessible to families, students and others in our society.”

The Institute, an independent United States government agency, is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums.

“I am honored to have been nominated by President Barack Obama and to have received the confidence from the Senate through their confirmation process. I look forward to being appointed to serve as the fifth Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services,”  Dr. Matthew said. “I am eager to begin my work at IMLS to help to sustain strong libraries and museums that convene our communities around heritage and culture, advance critical thinking skills, and connect families, researchers, students, and job seekers to information.”

Dr. Matthew will serve a four-year term as the Director of the Institute. The directorship of the Institute alternates between individuals from the museum and library communities.

ALA appreciates the exemplary service of Maura Marx, who served as IMLS Acting Director since January 19, 2015, following the departure of IMLS Director Susan H. Hildreth, at the conclusion of her four-year term. Marx is currently the deputy director for library services.  ALA has enjoyed good, close and collaborative relationship with Hildreth and with Anne-Imelda Radice, who served as IMLS Director from 2006-2010, and looks forward to a similarly strong and cooperative relationship with Dr. Matthew.

Dr. Matthew’s career interests have centered around supporting and coaching museums and other nonprofits, large and small, who are focused on propelling their programs, communications, events, and fundraising offerings to a higher level of success. Dr. Matthew’s professional experience spans the breadth of the diverse museum field. Through her many different leadership positions, she brings to the agency a deep knowledge of the educational and public service roles of museums, libraries, and related nonprofits.

Trained as a scientist, Dr. Matthew’s 30-year museum career began in curatorial, collections management, and research roles at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and Cranbrook Institute of Science. She worked with a variety of collections including ornithology, paleontology, fine arts, and anthropology. She then moved into management, exhibits and educational programs development, and fundraising and marketing roles, working at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the Virginia Museum of Natural History, The Nature Conservancy, the Historic Charleston Foundation, and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. She was also a science advisor for the IMAX film “Tropical Rainforest,” produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota.

In addition she was Executive Director of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, a state-funded museum. In that role she worked with corporations, federal agencies, public schools, and Hispanic and Native American communities to offer STEM-based programs. “Proyecto Futuro” was a nationally-recognized program that began during her tenure.

Dr. Matthew has worked on three museum expansion projects involving historic buildings; Science City at Union Station, in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Please Touch Museum at Memorial Hall and The Chemical Heritage Foundation, both in Philadelphia.

Over her 30-year career, she has been active as a volunteer to smaller nonprofits, board member, and award winning peer reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums’ Accreditation and Museum Assessment Programs. Her board service has included two children’s museums, a wildlife rehabilitation center, and a ballet company.

About Nancy Gravatt

Nancy Gravatt was a press officer of the American Library Association's Washington Office.

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