Institute of Museum and Library Services

Derek Scarbrough started his career in the mail room as a clerk for the Labor Department in Chicago, and he never intended to work in technology.

Now 33 years later, he is the chief information officer of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Scarbrough has worked at several other agencies from the Securities and Exchange Commission to the Federal Maritime Commission.

Now at IMLS, Scarbrough is learning what it’s like to manage the technology of an agency whose entire population fits on one floor of an office building in Washington.

He says while there may be fewer levels of bureaucracy to get things done, many of the challenges from cybersecurity to hiring personnel to grants management are the same as with large agencies.

IMLS’s IT budget is small, under $1 million a year, but the agency hands out more than $100 million in grants annually. He says his top priority is to consolidate and modernize grant making systems.



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