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

Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries

GrantWatch ID# 140272
Agency: Foundation

Funding Source
American Library Association (ALA)
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

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

Important Dates
Deadline: 02/28/23 11:59 PM CT Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $20,000 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 


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.

ALA Personal Membership:
ALA Organizational Membership:
ARSL Membership:

Grant funds may not be used to support indirect costs (e.g. general library administrative expenses) or as donations to other organizations.

Pre-Application Information
- Date Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2022
- Deadline for Submission: Tuesday, February 28, 2023 by 11:59 pm (CT)
- Award Notification Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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:
- Pre-Application Webinar:

Estimated Size of Grant
Libraries selected for funding will receive:
- $10,000 or $20,000 to support costs related to their community engagement project
- Virtual training to assist project directors in developing their community engagement, facilitation, and disability service skills
- 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 project, completing grant reporting requirements and participating in evaluation
- Community of practice for project directors and staff

Term of Contract
Projects must take place between June 1, 2023, and May 31, 2024.

Contact Information
Apply online:

If you have questions, contact:

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

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