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Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries

Grants and In-Kind Support to USA Libraries for
Community Engagement Projects and Resources

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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American Library Association (ALA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

09/16/21 11:59 PM CT


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Grants of $3,000 and in-kind support to USA libraries in rural areas for community engagement projects and resources. In-kind support includes professional development, project and technical support, and online resources for library staff. Funding may be used for project supplies, personal protective equipment, and promotion and publicity.

Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) that seeks to provide community engagement resources and opportunities specific to the needs of library workers serving small and rural communities. Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with community members – be they library patrons, residents, faculty, students or partner organizations – to address issues for the betterment of the community. 

The goal of these grants is to:

  • Teach library workers facilitation skills, through the LTC: Facilitation Skills for Small and Rural Libraries asynchronous six-part e-course and facilitation guide, that will empower them to lead a community conversation
  • Provide flexible funding to support libraries’ community engagement efforts

LTC grant funds are restricted to project-related expenses. Eligible expenses may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Library staff time
  • Purchase of books or other collection materials
  • Tech equipment (e.g. virtual meeting licenses, iPads, Wi-Fi hotspots)
  • Project supplies (e.g. markers, index cards, post-its)
  • Additional facilitation training for library staff (e.g. equity, diversity and inclusion facilitation skills training)
  • Payment to project partners for reimbursement or direct funding of services and support provided (e.g. childcare providers, translators, instructors, co-facilitator)
  • Promotion and publicity
  • Purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 140272

Number of Grants:

Up to 100 libraries will be selected in this application period.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Libraries selected for funding will receive:

- $3,000 to support costs related to their community engagement project
- Professional development consisting of the LTC: Facilitation Skills for Small and Rural Libraries asynchronous e-course and facilitation guide (required for all project directors)
- A suite of online resources developed to support local programs including template press releases, social media messaging, logos, digital promotional materials and template letters that can be used to notify local leaders/officials about the library's project.
- Technical and project support from the ALA Public Programs Office throughout the grant term, such as access to:
- Online learning opportunities for grantees intended to assist project directors in promoting their conversation, completing grant reporting requirements and participating in evaluation
- Community of practice for project directors and staff

Term of Contract:

Grant implementation period: December 1, 2021 – May 31, 2022

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Applicants must have an institutional or personal membership with either the American Library Association or the Association for Rural and Small Libraries.
- This opportunity is open to all types of libraries serving small and/or rural communities in the U.S. and U.S. territories. Libraries that are considered both small and rural will be prioritized.
- The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) defines libraries serving small communities as those with a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and a rural community as one that is more than, or equal to, five miles from an urbanized area.

Tribal libraries serving small and/or rural communities are eligible to apply. Non-accredited libraries (e.g.: volunteer-run libraries) are allowed to apply.

Grant funds may not be used to support indirect costs (e.g. general library administrative expenses). ALA/ARSL membership is not an eligible expense for the award.

ALA Personal Membership:
ALA Organizational Membership:
ARSL Membership:

Pre-proposal Conference:

Pre-Application Webinar for LTC: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries Round 3

Join this free webinar to learn about the application process for Round 3 of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an ALA initiative that will award grants to U.S. libraries in small and rural communities to develop facilitation skills and lead a community conversation.

Date and Time:
Jul 21, 2021 01:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

Register online:

Pre-Application Information:

- Application deadline: September 16, 2021, by 11:59 pm (CT)
- Award notification: October 20, 2021
- Cash grant distributed by: November 30, 2021
- Grant implementation period: December 1, 2021 – May 31, 2022
- Final Report Due: June 30, 2022

For the current round (Round 3), previously awarded libraries are eligible to apply for additional funding.

Multiple libraries can choose to submit a single application together if they feel they do not have the capacity to administer the grant individually. Please note that for libraries that apply together, one library must be selected as the primary applicant with all other institutions included as partners.

Applicants are invited to request a 20-minute phone consultation with ALA project staff.

- Guidelines:
- FAQs:
- Free E-Course:
- How to Apply:
- Pre-Application Webinar Recording:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Request a 20-minute phone consultation:

If you have questions, contact:

Public Programs Office
American Library Association
1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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