In 2008, the Oklahoma Department of Libraries received a $40,000 Connecting to Collections Planning Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to assess methods to help cultural institutions protect and preserve valuable collections. The planning grant was in response to needs identified in two statewide surveys conducted in early 2000 that found Oklahoma's collecting institutions are in need of assistance with collections care, funding and training. To view a summary of the two reports, click here.

The planning grant enabled the Department of Libraries to form a partnership with the Oklahoma Museums Association, the Oklahoma Historical Records Advisory Board, and the Oklahoma Historical Society to further assess community needs and develop an action plan.

Over the two years of the planning project, dialog evolved between the partnering organizations, representatives of cultural institutions, elected officials, funders, state agencies with similar missions, tribal cultural institutions, and members of the public. Information was gathered through a Public Opinion Survey, an Oklahoma Collections Care Needs Survey, three public meetings, and six regional Cultural Summit Meetings. At the conculsion of the stakeholder meetings, a follow-up survey was conducted to prioritize needs and actions. Concurrent with the stakeholder meetings, a "Heritage at Risk" public awareness campaign was conducted to help raise awareness of need for improved collection care.

At the end of the project, a final report was produced and next steps were identified.

In 2012, the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Oklahoma Museums Association were awarded a $245,000 implementation grant to commence work to build strong public/private partnerships and collaborate on programs that include:

  • Funding to support local and regional cultural projects and collaborations, as well as information about the availability of other funding opportunities;
  • Marketing campaigns to increase public awareness of the needs of Oklahoma’s cultural institutions; and
  • Comprehensive and consistent training in collection care practices, including technical assistance to develop collection care plans and policies.