Grant Applicants
National Leadership Grants for Libraries

Access FY 2015 Notice of Funding Opportunity Online

Webinars with Program Staff 
We invite you to participate in one of two pre-application webinars to learn more about the program, ask questions, and listen to the questions and comments of other participants. The webinars are scheduled for Wednesday, 20 August, and Tuesday, 16 September, both at 3 PM Eastern. Learn more

Deadline: October 13, 2014
Grant Amount: Project & Research: to be negotiated. Planning: up to $50,000. Nat. Forum: up to $100,000.
Grant Period: Up to three years for Project Grants. Up to one year for Planning Grants and National Forum Grants.
Cost Share Requirement: In order to receive a NLG-Libraries grant, you must provide funds from non-federal sources in an amount that is equal to or greater than the amount of the grant. No cost sharing is expected for research projects, or for applications for grants under $250,000, and will not be considered in the review of the application.*
Program Contact: Tim Carrigan, Senior Library Program Officer

Sandra Toro, PhD, Senior Library Program Officer

Sarah Fuller, Library Program Specialist

Kathy Mitchell, Library Program Specialist
Program Overview:

National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG) support projects that address challenges faced by the library and archive fields and that have the potential to advance practice in those fields. Successful proposals will generate results such as new tools, research findings, models, services, practices, or alliances that can be widely used, adapted, scaled, or replicated to extend the benefits of federal investment.

IMLS anticipates two FY15 National Leadership Grants for Libraries funding opportunities.  An additional NLG funding opportunity is anticipated to be announced in December 2014 with an application submission due date of February 2015.

For the October NLG deadline, IMLS accepts applications under three project categories/funding priorities:

  • National digital platform
  • Learning spaces in libraries
  • STEM learning in libraries

IMLS is particularly interested in proposals that explore the following issues:

  • What will move library and archival services in the United States forward?
  • What will help libraries and archives make decisions about their own investments in these areas?
  • What knowledge, capacity, functions or infrastructure can libraries and archives share?

IMLS conducted a series of focus meetings in 2014 that identified issues in each of these areas. The materials from those meetings may help inform the development of projects. 

The National Leadership Grant program accepts applications under three main categories:

  • Advancing Digital Resources—Support the creation, use, presentation, and preservation of significant digital resources as well as the development of tools to enhance access, use, and management of digital assets.
  • Research—Support research that investigates key questions that are important to museum, library, and archival practice.
  • Demonstration—Support projects that produce a replicable model or practice that is usable, adaptable, or scalable by other institutions for improving services and performance.

Applicants may choose to submit a Project Grant, Planning Grant, or National Forum Grant proposal in any of the above categories.

  • Project Grants support fully developed projects for which needs assessments, partnership development, feasibility analyses, prototyping, and other planning activities have been completed.
  • Planning Grants allow project teams to perform preliminary planning activities that could lead to a subsequent full project, such as needs and feasibility analyses, solidifying partnerships, developing project work plans, or developing prototypes or proofs of concept. Applications for Planning Grants must include at least one formal partner in addition to the lead applicant.
  • National Forum Grants provide the opportunity to convene qualified groups of experts and key stakeholders to consider issues or challenges that are important to libraries, museums, and/or archives across the nation. Grant-supported meetings are expected to produce widely disseminated reports with expert recommendations for action or research that address a key challenge identified in the proposal. The expert recommendations resulting from these meetings are intended to guide future proposals to the National Leadership Grant program.

Applicants that fulfill the general criteria for libraries may apply. See program guidelines for special conditions of eligibility for this program.

* Click here for further information on cost sharing.

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