Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
03/20/19 11:59 PM ET
Grants to USA and territories nonprofits, agencies, libraries, and schools to enhance libraries through professional development and training of library employees. Applicants must submit an LOI prior to submitting a full application and should register online at least two weeks before applying.
The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) supports developing a diverse workforce of librarians to better meet the changing learning and information needs of the American public by: enhancing the training and professional development of library and archives professionals, developing faculty and library leaders, and recruiting and educating the next generation of library and archives professionals.
Indicators (characteristics) of successful projects in the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program are as follows:
- Broad impact: Successful projects address key needs, high priority gaps, and opportunities for the training and education of library and archival professionals. They should expand the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the workforce, demonstrate potential for far-reaching impact across size and complexity of institutions, and influence theory and practice.
- Current significance: Successful projects appropriately address a critical issue or opportunity for library and archives professionals and build on current strategic initiatives and agendas in the fields. They should be based on a clear understanding of existing work and the broader environments (e.g., economic, demographic, technological, social) in which library and archives professionals operate.
- Strategic collaborations: Successful projects involve key stakeholders and partners. These collaborations should establish or build on mutually beneficial partnerships with allied organizations beyond libraries and archives. Collaborations strengthen expertise, leverage resources, expand development or implementation of services, and elevate the role of library and archives professionals.
- Demonstrated expertise: Successful projects articulate a thorough understanding of current theory and practice. They should establish how the team possesses the necessary skills, experience, and knowledge to realize significant shifts across the sector. They should demonstrate sound theoretical framing as well as the realities of professional practice.
- Diversity and inclusion: Successful projects thoughtfully address issues of diversity and inclusion. They should strive to broaden participation in the library and archives profession through the recruitment, education, and retention of a diverse workforce. They should strive to promote the successful participation of students and learners from diverse backgrounds, and empower library and archives professionals to provide inclusive services to diverse communities.
U.S. museums and libraries are at the forefront in the movement to create a nation of learners. As stewards of cultural and natural heritage with rich, authentic content, libraries and museums provide learning experiences for everyone. In FY2018-2022, each award under this program will support one of the following three goals of the IMLS strategic plan, Transforming Communities:
- Lifelong Learning: IMLS supports learning and literacy for people of all ages through museums and libraries.
- Build Capacity: IMLS strengthens the capacity of museums and libraries to improve the wellbeing of their communities.
- Increase Public Access: IMLS makes strategic investments that increase access to information, ideas, and networks through libraries and museums.
The funding categories are:
- National Forum
- Research in Service to Practice
Your application must designate one of these four funding categories. You may submit as many applications as you wish; however, the same proposal may not be submitted to IMLS under more than one category.
Planning Grants allow project teams to perform exploratory activities, such as analyzing needs and feasibility, solidifying partnerships, developing project work plans, or developing prototypes, or proofs of concept, and pilot studies. Assessing the outcomes of planning activities should be appropriate to this early stage of work. Applications are expected to provide a basic framework for planning activities that have the potential to lead to a future project. Planning Grants are for a period of one year. National Forum Grants provide the opportunity to convene qualified experts and key stakeholders, including those from adjacent fields as appropriate, to help explore current or emerging issues or opportunities that are important to professional development and education-related issues in libraries and archives across the nation.
National Forum Grants may consist of one or more meetings and related activities. Recipients are expected to produce reports or other deliverables for wide dissemination and are encouraged to consider leveraging technology to allow broad participation, such as virtual meetings or live-streaming. Additional mechanisms for engaging stakeholders and building awareness of the findings are encouraged. National Forum Grants are for periods of one to two years.
Project Grants support recruiting and educating the next generation of library and archives professionals, developing faculty and library leaders, and assisting in the professional development of library and archives staff who serve the nation. Proposals should provide clear evidence of broad impact; current significance; strategic collaborations; demonstrated expertise; and diversity, and inclusion. Projects may further pilot, test scalability or feasibility, expand existing products or services into new audiences or contexts, or enhance existing projects or initiatives. Proposals should not simply sustain current activities or represent incremental improvements in existing programs. Applicants should design their proposed work to ensure that new practices have the potential to be easily adoptable, sustainable, and widely implementable across the sector. Proposals should feature formative methods of evaluation appropriate to the stage of concept maturity. Project Grants are for periods of one to three years. Project Grant applications which have selected the Doctoral-level project type are for periods of one to four years.
Research in Service to Practice Grants involve the investigation of key questions relevant to library or archival professional practice. These proposals should build on prior empirical, theoretical, or exploratory work in libraries and archives or other disciplines (as they relate to libraries or library services). Proposals should include clearly articulated research questions, and feature appropriate methods, including relevant theoretical or conceptual approaches, data collection, and analysis. Findings and their implications for library and archival practice and services should be shared broadly throughout the grant period, rather than exclusively at the conclusion of the project. Dissemination activities should not be limited to publishing journal articles and presenting at academic conferences. Proposals focused on evaluation are not appropriate for the Research in Service to Practice category and should be submitted to the Project category above. Research in Service to Practice Grants are for periods of one to three years.
The project categories are:
- Lifelong Learning
- Community Catalysts
- National Digital Infrastructures and Initiatives
Your application must designate one of these three project categories. You may submit as many applications as you wish; however, the same proposal may not be submitted to IMLS under more than one category. Below is detailed information about each project category area.
Lifelong Learning: IMLS is interested in proposals that will have a significant impact on the capacity of library and archives professionals to foster attitudes of discovery and cultivate critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. Work in this category may include exploring, piloting, enhancing, or scaling education and training programs, services, and partnerships focused on developing library and archives professionals’ skills and expertise in facilitating learning to help patrons gain literacies and skills and enable hands-on and self-directed learning. Proposals should address substantial opportunities in library and archival practice and ensure that proposed outcomes exemplify library principles and values.
Proposals in this category may focus on expanding professionals’ capacity for:
- Fostering collaborations between library staff and formal or informal learning organizations to address issues of shared concern and reinforce library staff as facilitators of lifelong learning. Possible partners might include, but are not limited to, staff at museums, school systems, universities, extension programs, youth serving organizations, departments of correction, and workforce and economic development organizations.
- Developing, implementing, and evaluating programming models and tools that provide crossdisciplinary and inquiry-based learning opportunities for users of all ages. Programs may, but are not limited to, address informal STEM learning; early learning; workforce development; and digital, information, health, financial, media, civic, and other types of literacies.
- Investigating questions related to how library services, resources, and programs impact patron learning that are informed by current library and archival practice. They should develop mutually beneficial relationships between researchers and practitioners and communicate findings in ways that will lead to demonstrable improvements in library services.
Community Catalysts: IMLS is interested in proposals that build the capacity of library and archives professionals to contribute to the well-being of communities. Work in this category may include exploring, piloting, enhancing, or scaling training or educational programs related to professionals’ skills and expertise in strengthening civic and cultural engagement, fostering community health, promoting digital inclusion, increasing equity and access, supporting economic vitality, or decreasing social isolation. Proposals should address substantial opportunities in library and archival practice, and ensure that the proposed outcomes exemplify library principles and values.
Proposals in this category may focus on expanding professionals’ capacity for:
- Identifying community opportunities, addressing community needs, providing communitybased programs, establishing or deepening strategic relationships, and enhancing services that support and engage the community.
- Integrating into library theory and practice approaches and techniques including, but not limited to, design thinking, data analytics, impact assessment, leadership development, organizational change, asset mapping, and collective impact (see IMLS Community Catalyst and Community Salute Initiatives).
- Developing, implementing, assessing, and scaling programs, services, tools, and partnership models focused on enhancing opportunities and well-being in communities. Topics may include, but are not limited to, workforce and economic development; financial, health, or legal services; and increasing equity and access.
- Investigating widespread community challenges and opportunities that are informed by current library and archival practice, and feature mutually beneficial relationships between researchers and practitioners. Findings should be communicated in ways that could lead to demonstrable improvements in library services, sustained community engagement, and increased reach to new and existing library and archives users and underserved audiences.
National Digital Infrastructures and Initiatives: IMLS is interested in proposals that will have a broad impact on library and archives professionals’ capacity to provide access to digital content, collections, and services to a wide range of users. Work in this category may include exploring, piloting, enhancing, or scaling training or educational programs related to professionals’ skills and expertise in open source digital library infrastructures, efforts to engage communities with digital library content and collections, and other activities related to shared tools and services. This work may also involve assessing opportunities for and impact of investments in education and training to support digital libraries and archives. Proposals should address substantial opportunities in library and archival practice and ensure that the proposed outcomes exemplify library principles and values.
Proposals in this category may focus on expanding professionals’ capacity for:
- Designing, developing, implementing, and maintaining digital tools and services.
- Providing access to digital content and collections at scale for users of all interests and skill levels.
- Assessing barriers to the adoption of tools and services, and increasing the accessibility of content and collections to a wide range of users.
- Integrating shared resources and collaborative networks for public access to and preservation of digital library content and collections.
- Investigating the sustainability, interoperability, and long-term value and impact of digital content and collections to diverse user communities.
- Curating new or complex content types or digital formats.
- Enabling the ethical stewardship of diverse or culturally sensitive digital content and collections.
- Enhancing information literacy and digital inclusion efforts through expanded broadband connectivity, data privacy and security, or civic data use.
- Engaging communities in the co-creation, interpretation, and stewardship of digital library content and collections.
The project types are:
- Early Career Development
- Continuing Education
Your application must designate one of these five project types. You may submit as many applications as you wish; however, the same proposal may not be submitted to IMLS under more than one project type.
Pre-Professional: Pre-Professional proposals support the development of a diverse workforce in library and information science by introducing middle school, high school, community college, or undergraduate students to explore careers in library and information science. Mentorship, cohort-building, service learning, internships, or part-time employment may be key components of projects in this category.
Master’s-level: Master’s Programs educate the next generation of library and archival leaders to meet the evolving needs of the profession and society. Proposals in this category support the recruitment, instruction, and formal educational experiences of Master’s students in graduate departments of library and information science and graduate departments that provide school library media certification programs. In November 2017, IMLS hosted a meeting focused on Positioning Library and Information Science Graduate Programs for 21st Century Practice (PDF 529KB) which produced a report (link to report). IMLS encourages applicants in the Master’s-level category to address themes or gaps described in the report in their proposal.
Doctoral-level: Doctoral-level proposals in library and information science develop library and archives leaders to assume positions as managers, administrators, researchers, or faculty to meet the evolving needs of the profession and society. See Section A4e for additional eligibility criteria related to this project type.
Early Career Development: Early Career Development proposals support the research of untenured, tenure-track library and information science faculty, furthering the faculty member’s long-term research trajectory and professional development. Early Career Development proposals must be submitted as Research in Service to Practice Grants. See Section A4e for additional eligibility criteria related to this project type.
Continuing Education: Continuing Education proposals aim to improve the knowledge, skills, and abilities of library and archives professionals through formal and informal programs such as: post-Master’s programs, residencies, enhanced work experiences, blended learning opportunities including mentorships, online learning modules, developing communities of practice, and other training programs.
GrantWatch ID#: 162207
Planning Grants: up to $100,000
National Forum Grants: up to $150,000
Project Grants: up to $1,000,000
Research Grants: up to $500,000
The Beginning Date of Period of Performance is not earlier than July 1, 2019. Projects must begin on July 1, August 1, or September 1, 2019.
The grant period is:
One year for Planning Grants.
- One to two years for National Forum Grants.
- One to three years for Project Grants and Research Grants, except for doctoral program projects, which may be one to four years.
To be eligible for LB21, you must be either a unit of State or local government or a private nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code and be located in one of the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau.
In addition, you must be one of the following six types of organizations:
- A library or a parent organization, such as a school district, a municipality, a State agency, or an academic institution, that is responsible for the administration of a library.
Eligible libraries include the following:
- Public libraries;
- Public elementary and secondary school libraries;
- College (including community college) and university libraries;
- Research libraries and archives that are not an integral part of an institution of higher education and that make publicly available library services and materials that are suitable for scholarly research and not otherwise available (Research libraries must be under the supervision of at least one permanent professional staff librarian and must be either generally recognized as possessing unique scholarly research materials and services that are made available to the public, or able to demonstrate that such is the case when submitting an application to IMLS.);
- Private or special libraries, but only if the State in which such private or special
library is located determines that the library should be considered a library for the
purposes of the Library Services and Technology subchapter (see 2 U.S. C. 9121-9165)
- An academic or administrative unit, such as a graduate school of library and information science that is part of an institution of higher education through which it would make application (see below for additional conditions of eligibility that might apply regarding institutions of higher education);
- A digital library, if it makes library materials publicly available and provides library services, including selection, organization, description, reference, and preservation, under the supervision of at least one permanent professional staff librarian;
- A library agency that is an official agency of a State or other unit of government and is charged by the law governing it with the extension and development of public library services within its jurisdiction;
- A library consortium that is a local, statewide, regional, interstate, or international cooperative association of library entities that provides for the systematic and effective coordination of the resources of eligible libraries, as defined above, and information centers that work to improve the services delivered to the clientele of these libraries;
- A library association that exists on a permanent basis; serves libraries or library professionals on a national, regional, state, or local level; and engages in activities designed to advance the well-being of libraries and the library profession.
Federally operated libraries and museums may not apply for LB21 grants, but they may participate with applicants. Native American tribal organizations may apply if they otherwise meet the above eligibility requirements.
Some project types have special eligibility conditions, as outlined below. Note: all eligible entities may apply, either individually or collaboratively, to the Pre-Professional and Continuing Education project types.
Only graduate schools of library and information science offering programs of study at the doctoral level are eligible to apply for funding of doctoral level scholarships and fellowships, either individually or collaboratively.
Early Career Development
- Projects must have a single project director with no co-project directors. Consultants and students may be included in the project.
- Only tenure-track, untenured library and information science faculty (by the deadline for submission of Invited Full Proposals) are eligible to serve as project directors.
- The project director must hold a doctoral degree (by the deadline for submission of Invited Full Proposals).
- The project director must have both educational and research responsibilities (by the deadline for submission of Invited Full Proposals).
- A letter of departmental endorsement, including verification of project director eligibility, must be included in the Invited Full Proposal (if invited to submit an Invited Full Proposal).
The following list includes some examples of unallowable costs, both for IMLS funds and for cost share (if applicable), under this announcement:
- General fundraising costs, such as development office staff or other staff time devoted to general fundraising;
- General operating support;
- Acquisition of collections (See 2 C.F.R. §3187.15(b))
- general advertising or public relations costs designed solely for promotional activities other than those related to the specific project;
- Construction or renovation of facilities (generally, any activity involving the construction trades is not an allowable cost);
- Contributions to endowments;
- Social activities, ceremonies, receptions, or entertainment; and
- Pre-award costs
More on eligibility: https://www.imls.gov/grants/apply-grant/eligibility-criteria
For the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, Grants.gov will accept applications through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on September 17, 2018, for preliminary proposals; March 20, 2019, for invited, full proposals.
Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email of the final decisions by June 2019.
For Project Grants, projects requesting $249,999 or more in IMLS funds require a 1:1 match.
You must submit your application through Grants.gov.
You must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting your application package. The multi-step registration process generally cannot be completed in a single day. If you are not already registered, you should allow at least two weeks to complete this one-time process. Do not wait until the day of the application deadline to register.
Before submitting an application, your organization must have a current and active D-U-N-S number (a unique entity identifier), System for Award Management (SAM.gov) registration, and Grants.gov registration.
To get a DUNS number: http://www.dnb.com/get-a-duns-number/html
View this opportunity on Grants.gov: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=LB21-FY19
Recording of the June 25 webinar: https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/jwsdetect/playback.jnlp?psid=2018-06-25.1208.M.3516BB3B5A1C3BB3CEC1CF7658E882.vcr&sid=2012653
Recording of the July 10 webinar: https://sas.elluminate.com/p.jnlp?psid=2018-07-10.1046.M.E5E7BD4077D9CAE467BAF5C932D758.vcr&sid=2012653
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Tim Carrigan (Early learning, Young adult services, Informal STEM learning, Making)
Sarah Fuller (Community development, Workforce development, Services for new Americans, Public health)
James Neal (Broadband, Digital inclusion, Open educational resources, Data privacy and security)
Emily Reynolds (Digital collections, Digital preservation, Archives and special collections, Community archives)
Ashley Sands, PhD (Research data management, Scholarly communications, Open infrastructures)
Sandy Toro, PhD (Native American library services, Native Hawaiian library services)
Institute of Museum and Library Services
955 L’Enfant Plaza North, SW,
Washington, D.C. 20024-2135
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)
USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA) Marshall Islands (USA) Republic of Palau (USA)