Grant Applicants - Program Guidelines

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program– FY14 Guidelines
Application Deadline: September 16, 2013
(Projects must begin April 1, May 1, or June 1, 2014.)

Date Posted: July 22, 2013
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number:45.313

IMLS Information

Guideline Contents

  1. Program Information

  2. Eligibility

  3. Registration Requirements

  4. Preparing and Submitting an Application

  5. After You Apply

Questions? See the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program web page for IMLS contact information.

Teletype (TTY/TDD) (for persons with hearing difficulty): 202-653-4614
Upon request, IMLS will provide an audio recording of this publication.

Web Conferencing with Program Staff
We are available by phone and through e-mail to discuss general issues relating to Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants. We also invite you to participate in one of two pre-application web conferences to learn more about the program, ask questions, and listen to the questions and comments of other participants. See the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program web page for more information.

Applicant 101
Also available for FY2014 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program applicants is the following Applicant 101 web presentation and handout. Viewers must have Adobe® Acrobat Pro or Reader version 9 or above to be able to see the PDF presentation below. Get Plug-in.

 

For best results, download the presentation to your computer and watch using Adobe® Acrobat® or Acrobat® Reader®.

Equal Opportunity
IMLS-funded programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. For further information, write to the Civil Rights Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services, 1800 M Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20036-5802.

Office of Management and Budget Clearance Numbers
Guidelines: OMB No. 3137-0029; Expiration Date: September 30, 2015.
Forms: OMB No. 3137-0071; Expiration Date: September 30, 2015.

How long should it take me to complete this application?

We estimate the average amount of time needed for one applicant to complete the narrative portion of this application to be 40 hours. This includes the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and writing and reviewing the answers.

We estimate that, in addition to the time needed for you to answer the narrative questions, it will take you an average of 15 minutes per response for the Program Information Sheet and three hours per response for the IMLS Budget Form.

Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to the Institute of Museum and Library Services at 1800 M Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20036-5802, and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project (3137-0029), Washington, DC 20503.

 

1. Program Information

What are Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants?

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) invests in the nation’s information infrastructure by funding projects designed to address the education and training needs of the professionals who help build, maintain, and provide public access to the world’s wide-ranging information systems and sources.

In 2014, the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program will support projects to develop faculty and library leaders, recruit and educate the next generation of librarians and archivists, conduct research, build institutional capacity in graduate schools of library and information science, and assist in the professional development of librarians and archivists. This grant program is especially interested in developing information professionals who can help manage the burgeoning data generated by the nation’s researchers, serve as stewards of the nation’s cultural legacy, and meet the information needs of the underserved. The program also seeks to help librarians develop the information and digital literacy of their communities, as well as other critical skills their users will need to be successful in the 21st century.

This program addresses the field’s need to conduct research on the library and information science profession. It also seeks to advance the work of new faculty in library and information science by supporting an early career development program for untenured, tenure-track faculty. Research conducted under the early careers program should be in the faculty member’s particular research area and is not restricted to research on the profession.

What are the important characteristics of successful LB21 applications?

Broad Impact: Your proposal should address key needs and challenges that face libraries and/or archives. Your project should show the potential for far-reaching impact, influence practice throughout the library and/or archival communities, and reflect awareness and support of current strategic initiatives and agendas in these fields.

Innovation: Your proposal should demonstrate a thorough understanding of current practice and knowledge about the subject matter and show how the project has the potential to strengthen and improve library and/or archive services to benefit the audiences and communities being served.

Collaboration: While partnerships are not required, they can help demonstrate a broad need, field-wide buy-in and input, access to appropriate expertise, and sharing of resources.

Supporting National Initiatives

IMLS invites libraries and museums to address STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in their programs and projects in order to advance learning and support the acquisition of STEM knowledge at all ages, but particularly for at-risk youth. Click here to learn more about IMLS’s role in STEM initiatives. Projects addressing STEM learning should check box 4 on the Program Information Sheet component of the application.

Click here for examples of recently funded projects that support activities articulated in the IMLS Strategic Plan arranged by the six project categories.

What funding categories are available in the LB21 program?

Applicants may choose to submit a Project Grant, Collaborative Planning Grant, or National Forum Planning Grant proposal in any of the six LB21 project categories.Your application must designate one of these funding categories. The same proposal may not be submitted to IMLS under more than one category.

1. Project Grants
Amount of grant: $50,000 to $500,000
Grant period: Up to three years or four years for doctoral projects
Cost sharing: Standard cost sharing rules apply

2. Collaborative Planning Grants
Amount of grant: Up to $50,000
Grant period: Up to one year
Cost sharing: Not required; cost sharing of at least one third encouraged

Collaborative Planning Grants support activities required to fully develop ideas for a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program project grant among partners and should result in such products as formal needs assessments; studies of curricula (for both formal degree and continuing education programs); internship and mentoring plans; and research-based recruitment strategies, which could lead to a single, subsequent Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Project Grant proposal. Applications for a Collaborative Planning Grant are expected to have a basic framework (concept, team work plan, intended results) for a project that has the potential to meet the goals of the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.

Collaborative Planning Grants can support a variety of activities, including partnership meetings, needs assessments, literature searches, feasibility investigation, project formation, and other planning efforts. Funds may support the full range of planning components, including salaries, consultant fees, travel, meeting costs, services, and materials and supplies.

For Collaborative Planning Grants, you must follow the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program application instructions but are not required to address the Communication or Sustainability evaluation criteria.

The awarding of a Collaborative Planning Grant neither guarantees nor implies future funding.

Indirect costs cannot be applied to a Collaborative Planning Grant.

3. National Forum Planning Grants
Amount of grant: Up to $100,000
Grant period: Up to one year
Cost sharing: Not required; cost sharing of at least one third encouraged

National Forum Planning Grants support workshops, symposia, or other convenings of experts with the purpose of fostering discussion and consideration of nationally important professional development and education-related issues among libraries and archives. Grant-supported meetings are expected to actively engage their intended communities and produce white papers (and potentially other publications, print or digital) to be broadly disseminated. The white paper is required to identify the national challenges and opportunities discussed at the meeting and to outline recommendations for future actions, community priorities, and/or potential research agendas. The white paper must be in a publicly releasable form and not contain any personal or proprietary information. Following consultation with IMLS, the white paper should be disseminated broadly. Meetings and their associated white papers should catalyze new directions for partnerships and provide information and inspiration for multiple Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant proposals.

Funds may support the full range of planning components, including salaries, consultant fees, travel, meeting costs, services, supplies, and the costs of development and communication of the final report.

For National Forum Planning Grants, you must follow the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program application instructions, but are not required to address the Sustainability evaluation criteria.

The awarding of a National Forum Planning Grant neither guarantees nor implies future funding.

Indirect costs cannot be applied to a National Forum Planning Grant.

What are the LB21 project categories?

Six project categories of grants are featured in FY 2014. The goals of each LB21 project category are described here. Your application should designate one of these project categories. The same proposal may not be submitted to IMLS under more than one category.

1. Doctoral Programs

  • Develop faculty to educate the next generation of library and archives professionals. In particular, increase the number of students enrolled in doctoral programs that will prepare faculty to teach master’s students who will work in school, public, academic, research, and special libraries and archives.
  • Develop the next generation of library and archives leaders to assume positions as managers and administrators.

2. Master’s Programs

  • Educate the next generation of librarians and archivists in nationally accredited graduate library programs to meet the evolving needs of the profession and society.

3. Research

  • Investigate issues and trends affecting library and archival practices.

For all research projects, except Early Career Development Projects, all eligible library entities may apply, either individually or in a partnership. Click here for the IMLS Guidance for Research Proposals.

4. Early Career Development

  • Support the early career development of new faculty members in library and information science by supporting innovative research by untenured, tenure-track faculty. (Proposed research should be in the investigator’s own field of inquiry and need not relate to library education or librarianship as a career.) For more information on the early career development program, contact Mary Alice Ball (mball@imls.gov or 202-653-4730) or Sandra Toro (storo@imls.gov or 202-653-4662), and see Special Conditions of Eligibility for Institutions of Higher Education. See also the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the IMLS Early Career Development Program on the IMLS website at http://www.imls.gov/assets/1/AssetManager/L21_early_career_development.pdf

Click here for the IMLS Guidance for Research Proposals.

5. Programs to Build Institutional Capacity

  • Develop or enhance curricula within graduate schools of library and information science to better meet the needs of cultural heritage and information professionals. For example:
    • Broaden the library and information science curriculum by incorporating perspectives from other disciplines and fields of scholarship.
    • Develop projects or programs of study to increase the abilities of future library and archives professionals in developing the 21st century skills of their users, including information and digital literacy skills. (See Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills.)

Only eligible (see Section 2. Eligibility) graduate programs in Library and Information Science or School Library Media may apply to this category.

6. Continuing Education

  • Improve the knowledge, skills, and abilities of library and archives staff through programs of continuing education, both formal and informal, including post-master’s programs such as certificates of advanced study, residencies, enhanced work experiences, and other training programs for professional staff. We encourage programs that promote collaboration, especially among library, archives, and museum professionals, and among educators, researchers, and librarians employed in educational institutions. Any topic in the field of library, archival, and information science may be addressed. The following needs have been identified in particular:
    • programs that aid libraries in developing and improving services to audiences with special needs, such as children and youth at risk; seniors; and those with language, physical, or other barriers to service
    • programs that assist libraries in developing information and digital literacy skills of users
    • programs that support libraries in engaging community stakeholders to promote broadband adoption and digital inclusion among underserved constituencies
    • programs that advance learning and support the acquisition of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) knowledge at all ages; at-risk youth are a priority
    • programs in digitization or any aspect of digital curation/stewardship
    • programs in conservation science and practice
    • programs to enhance the ability of librarians and archivists to cultivate the 21st century skills of their users (See Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills.)

You are required to designate the appropriate funding category and project category on your Program Information Sheet.

In all project and funding categories, if your application has a recruitment component, you should address ways to

  1. bring to the profession skills required to enhance library and/or archives services; and

  2. broaden participation in the library profession, including but not limited to members of traditionally underserved groups and communities

We encourage proposals that seek to increase the ability of librarians to provide programs and services relating to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) across all categories.

What is the deadline for applying to the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program?

The FY2014 deadline for LB21 grants is September 16, 2013.

What is the period of time in which my organization can conduct activities funded by a FY14 LB21 grant?

Projects must begin on April 1, May 1, or June 1, 2014. Projects must begin on the first day of the monthand end on the last day of the final month of the project. Project activities supported by LB21 grants may be carried out for up to three years, or four years for doctoral projects; Collaborative Planning and National Forum Planning Grant projects may last up to one year.

How much money can my institution apply for?

LB21 grant awards range from $50,000 to $500,000. 1

Do we have to provide funds from other sources for an LB21 grant?

In order to receive an LB21 Project Grant, you must provide funds from non-federal sources in an amount that is equal to or greater than the amount of the grantafter subtraction of student support costs. Click here for further information on cost sharing. Cost sharing of at least one third is encouraged, but not required, for Research, Early Career Development, Collaborative Planning Grants and National Forum Planning Grants.

Acknowledgement of IMLS Support

Read more about Acknowledgement of IMLS Support

What are the rules for the use of IMLS funds?

You may only use IMLS funds for allowable costs as found in IMLS and government-wide cost-principle rules, including OMB circulars and regulations.

Examples of allowable expenses for Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants include

  • tuition and fees;
  • course buyouts, summer session salary;
  • project personnel (contract or in-house) whose time is necessary for the proper and efficient execution of the project;
  • project consultants and their travel;
  • workshops, conference attendance, and other professional development activities;
  • mentoring programs/internships/residencies/fellowships;
  • educational materials, staff time, and supplies for sharing the impact of the activities;
  • evaluation to show the extent to which the project has met its goals;
  • dissemination/communication activities;
  • indirect or overhead costs(except for Collaborative Planning or National Forum Planning Grants); and
  • subcontracts.

You must justify all proposed expenses in your application budget.

Examples of unallowable expenses for Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants include

  • salary substitution for regular employees; 2
  • fundraising costs, such as development office expenditures or other staff time devoted to general fundraising;
  • general advertising or public relations costs designed solely for promotional activities other than those related to the specific project;
  • advocacy;
  • contributions to endowments;
  • acquisition of collections;
  • social activities, ceremonies, receptions, or entertainment;
  • construction and/or renovation of facilities;
  • subgrants and subawards; and
  • pre-award costs.

(Note: If you have questions about the allowability of specific activities, call IMLS staff for guidance.)

Are partners required for an LB21 application?

Partnerships may strengthen an LB21 application but are not required. An application may include one or more partners. The lead applicant in a partnership must be an organization that is eligible to receive IMLS funds. All members of a partnership should be active contributors to project activities. Read more about partnerships.

hr

Subject to the availability of funds and IMLS discretion.

We do not allow applicants to substitute grant funds for the salaries of regular employees. Regular employees, however, may be paid from grant funds in direct relationship to the time and effort they commit to the grant project, if the application demonstrates how their regular duties will be fulfilled while they are working on the grant-funded project.

hr

 

2. Eligibility

What are the eligibility criteria that must be met to apply for an LB21 grant?

To be eligible for a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant, 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:

  1. 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 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 that have been deemed eligible to participate in this program by the state in which the library is located

  2. 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 to such applicants.)

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

We recognize the potential for valuable contributions to the overall goals of the LB21program by entities that do not meet the eligibility requirements above. Although such entities may not serve as the official applicants, they are encouraged to participate in projects as partners. Federally operated libraries and museums may not apply for LB21 grants, but they may serve as nonessential partners to applicants. Contact us before submitting a proposal involving a federal agency or federal collection. Other nonfederal entities may serve as partners and may receive IMLS grant funds as a result of the project. Consult with us about any eligibility questions before submitting an application.

What are the special conditions for institutions of higher education?

Institutions of higher education as noted under Project Categories 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 have special conditions for their applications:

1. Doctoral Programs
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 in a partnership.

2. Master’s Programs
Graduate schools of library and information science and graduate schools that provide school library media certification programs are eligible to apply for funds to educate students at the master’s level only if they apply in a partnership that includes one or more eligible library entities. Any of the eligible applicants in the partnership may serve as the lead applicant.

3. Research
For all research projects, except Early Career Development Projects, all eligible library entities may apply, either individually or in a partnership.

4. Early Career Development Projects:

  • Projects must have a single principal investigator with no co-investigators. Consultants and students may be included in the project.
  • Only tenure-track, untenured faculty in graduate schools of library and information science and graduate school library media education programs that prepare master’s- and doctoral-level students are eligible to serve as principal investigators/project directors on Early Career Development projects.
  • The principal investigator/project director must hold a doctoral degree and have both educational and research responsibilities.
  • A letter of departmental endorsement, including verification of principal investigator eligibility, must be included in the application packet.

5. Programs to Build Institutional Capacity
All graduate schools of library and information science and school library media graduate programs are eligible to apply for funding to build institutional capacity, either individually or in a partnership. Libraries, library associations, and other library entitiesare not eligible for funding in this category.

3. Registration Requirements

Before submitting an application, your organization must have a current and active D-U-N-S® Number, SAM.gov registration, and Grants.gov registration. Check your materials and registrations well in advance of the application deadline to ensure that they are accurate, current, and active.

What is a D-U-N-S® Number and how do I get one?
Click here to learn more about getting a D-U-N-S® Number.

What is the System for Award Management (SAM.gov) and how do I register?
Click here to learn more about SAM.gov Registration.

What is Grants.gov and how do I register?
Click here to learn more about Grants.gov Registration and Tips for Using Grants.gov.

4. Preparing and Submitting an Application

PLEASE REVIEW THESE GUIDELINES AND THE GRANTS.GOV REQUIREMENTS CAREFULLY. WE MAKE GRANTS ONLY TO ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS THAT SUBMIT COMPLETE APPLICATIONS, INCLUDING ATTACHMENTS, ON OR BEFORE THE DEADLINE.

For the FY14 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants, Grants.gov will accept applications through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on September 16, 2013.

We strongly recommend that you REGISTER EARLY and COMPLETE AND SUBMIT THE APPLICATION EARLY.

Apply for Grants: www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp

Use one of the following identifiers to locate the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants package in Grants.gov:
CFDA No: 45.313
Funding Opportunity Number: L21-FY14

 

What documents are required to make a complete application?

The Table of Application Components below will help you prepare a complete and eligible application. Links to more information and instructions for completing each application component are provided in the table. Applications missing any Required Documents or Conditionally Required Documents from this list will be considered incomplete and will be rejected from further consideration.

How should the application components be formatted, named, and sequenced?

  • Document format: Aside from the first two documents listed below which are created in Grants.gov, all application components must be submitted as PDF documents.
  • Page limits: Note page limits listed below. We will remove any pages above the limit, and we will not send them to reviewers as part of your application.
  • Naming convention: Use the naming convention indicated below. IMPORTANT: You are limited to using the following characters in all attachment file names: A-Z, a-z, 0-9, underscore (_), hyphen (-), space, period. If you use any other characters when naming your attachment files, your application will be rejected.
  • Document order: In Grants.gov, append all application components in the sequence listed below. Use all available spaces in the "Mandatory Documents for Submission" box first. Append any remaining application components using the "Optional Documents for Submission" box.
  • Complete applications: Use the table below as a checklist to ensure that you have created and attached all necessary application components.

If you create a document in Microsoft® Word, you must convert it to PDF format before submitting it. Click here for assistance in converting documents to PDF. Do not send secured or password-protected PDFs; we cannot process these files.

 

When entering the names of project staff into the SF-424S, note that the Authorized Representative cannot be the same person as the Project Director.

 

Table of Application Components

Component

Format

File name to use

Required Documents

The Application for Federal Assistance/Short Organizational Form (SF-424S) Grants.gov form n/a
Abstract (to be uploaded through Grants.gov) (one page, max.) Text document that you create n/a
Program Information Sheet IMLS PDF form Programinfo.pdf
Organizational Profile (one page, max.) PDF document Organizationalprofile.pdf
Narrative (ten pages, max.) PDF document Narrative.pdf
Schedule of Completion (one page per year, max.) PDF document Scheduleofcompletion.pdf
IMLS Budget Form IMLS PDF form Budget.pdf
Budget Justification PDF document Budgetjustification.pdf
List of Key Project Staff and Consultants (one page, max.) PDF document Projectstaff.pdf
Resumes of Key Project Staff and Consultants that appear on the list above (two pages each, max.) PDF document Resumes.pdf

Conditionally Required Documents

Proof of Nonprofit Status (if applicable) PDF document Proofnonprofit.pdf
Federally Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (if applicable) PDF document Indirectcostrate.pdf
Digital Content Supplementary Information Form (if applicable) IMLS PDF form Specificationsdigital.pdf
Sample curriculum or equivalent description of training activities PDF document Curriculum.pdf
Service Expectations/Recruitment Documentation (if applicable) PDF document Serviceexpectations.pdf
Student Placement Documentation (if applicable) PDF document Studentplacement.pdf

Supporting Documents

Information that supplements the narrative and supports the project description provided in the application PDF document Supportingdoc1.pdf
Supportingdoc2.pdf
Supportingdoc3.pdf
etc.
Partner Letter of Commitment PDF document PartnerCommitment1.pdf
PartnerCommitment2.pdf
PartnerCommitment3.pdf
etc.

 

Click here for instructions on:
How to Fill Out the SF-424S

Abstract

A project abstract should be no more than one page. Insert the text, which you generate through a word processing program and save as a PDF, into the Abstract field in Grants.gov.

Information in the abstract should cover the following areas as related to the proposed project:

  • Who is the lead applicant and, if applicable, who are the formal partners?
  • What do you plan to accomplish and why?
  • What is the time frame for the project?
  • What community needs will the project address?
  • Who is the intended audience for the activities?
  • What will be the specific project activities, outcomes, results, and tangible products?
  • What are the intended outcomes for audience members in terms of measurable changes in knowledge, attitudes, or behavior?
  • How many students or individuals will benefit from the scholarship or training activity?

This abstract may be used for public information purposes, so it should be informative to other persons working in the same or related fields, as well as to the lay reader. The abstract must not include any proprietary or confidential information.

Program Information Sheet

1. Applicant Information

a. Legal Name: Enter 5a from SF424S.

b. Applicant D-U-N-S® Number: Enter 5f from SF424S.

c. Current SAM.GOV registration: Check Yes or No and provide expiration date, if you check the Yes box. Please note that, before submitting an application, your organization must have a current SAM.gov registration.

d. Organizational Unit: If you cannot apply for grants on your own behalf, then enter your organizational unit’s name and address in these spaces. For example, if your library is part of a parent organization, such as a university, then enter the name of the university under Legal Name, and the library as the Organizational Unit.

e. Organizational Unit Address: Be sure to include the four-digit extension on the ZIP code.

f. Organization Governance: You should check the box that best characterizes your organization.

2. Organizational Financial Information

a-d. All applicants must provide the information requested.

3. Grant Program or Grant Program Category

  • Select a. Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program
  • Select the appropriate Funding Category and
  • Select the appropriate Project Category
    • If applying for an Early Career Development, do not check Research; check only Early Career Development.

4. Check this box if your project addresses STEM learning.

5. Funding Request Information

a. IMLS Funds Requested: Enter the amount in dollars sought from IMLS.

b. Cost Share Amount: Enter the amount of non-federal funding you are providing.

You must provide cost sharing of at least one-half of the total project cost, excluding funds for student support. Proposals in the Research, Early Career Development, Collaborative Planning, and National Forum Planning Grant categories are exempt from the cost share requirement. Click here for further information on cost sharing.

6. Project Subject Area: Check the boxes that reflect the subject areas addressed by your project.

7. Population Served: Check the boxes that reflect the population(s) served by your project.

8 & 9
Skip these sections, as they do not pertain to LB21 applications.

Download Program Information Sheet:
Adobe® PDF
 (318 KB)

Click here to see instructions for providing your Organizational Profile.

Narrative

Write a narrative that addresses the seven components listed and explained below. Limit the narrative to ten single-spaced, numbered pages. We will remove any pages above the ten-page limit, and we will not send them to reviewers as part of your application.

Use Supporting Documents to provide supplementary material.

Make sure your organization’s name appears at the top of each page. Use at least 0.5-inch margins on all sides and a font size of at least twelve point.

Reviewers with a variety of professional backgrounds will read these applications and advise us on their merits. They will base their evaluations on the information presented in the application. Your project narrative should therefore be clear, concise, and well organized with a minimum of technical jargon.

Review criteria are listed below for each section of the narrative. These criteria describe what the reviewers are instructed to consider as they evaluate proposals. Keep these application review criteria in mind when writing your narrative. Be certain to address the bullet points under each of the seven narrative sections as you write. Address the seven sections of the narrative separately and in the same order in which they are listed below.

Please be advised that reviewers may also choose to visit your organization’s website, as listed on the SF-424S form provided with this application.

1. Statement of Need

Provide a justification for the proposed project as it relates to the applicant and its project activities. Include information such as the following:

  • Awareness of similar projects completed by other institutions and a clear statement of whether and how this project replicates, improves or expands upon past practice
  • Identification of the audience(s) that will benefit from the project
  • Assessment of the audience’s needs along with a description of the process used to determine those needs
  • Statement of how the proposed project, as planned, will meet the identified need

Early Career Development applicants should clearly explain how the proposed research will address current issues in the research literature and how the findings can be used to improve the services of libraries and archives. Click here for Guidance for Research Proposals.

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence that the literature review includes relevant research and/or projects
  • Evidence that the needs assessment clearly articulates the project audience and its needs
  • Evidence that project activities and goals directly address the needs of the identified audience

2. Impact

Describe the benefits of this project for the specific populations of library and archives users. Address issues such as the following:

  • How the project will build greater skills and abilities in the library and archives workforce
  • How the project is likely to contribute to results or products that will benefit multiple institutions and diverse constituencies
  • How the project will transform practice
  • The likelihood that the project will be adopted by other institutions

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence that the project will increase the number of qualified professionals for employment as librarians or archivists
  • Evidence that the programwill build greater skills and abilities to meet the needs of today’s library and archives workforce
  • Evidence that the project will contribute to results or products that can extend beyond a single institution to benefit multiple institutions and diverse constituencies
  • Evidence that project outcomes will meetlibrary service needs not only in the communities served but also be generalizable to libraries of similar size and type
  • Evidence that this project will transform practice (Innovative approaches will be given high consideration.)

Incorporating Evaluation into Your Project Proposal
Click here for helpful information about evaluation.

3. Project Design

Describe the proposed project’s design. Include information such as the following:

  • Clearly stated project goals and objectives
  • The activities required to implement the project and the applicant’s plan to ensure that normal operations are not disrupted
  • The design, integration, and implementation of an evaluation method that will measure project results, findings, or products
  • Information about the roles and commitments of partnering organizations, if applicable
  • Information about any preliminary work or planning (If the project or one closely related to it has been supported by IMLS or other funding agencies, indicate what has been accomplished and the degree to which the project has met its established goals. List any print or electronic publications produced so far, with web addresses, statistics on use, and other relevant information. Submit this list as a Supporting Document if necessary.)
  • Rationale for using any procedures that deviate from accepted practice and explanation of whether the results would be compatible with other resources that follow existing standards
  • Description of how the project will test the potential applicability of any innovative techniques and procedures that the project is likely to develop
  • For training projects, description of the proposed curriculum, including training materials, training methods, audience served, and intended benefits for the applicant and trainees

For projects involving distance education, you should include information about both the synchronous and asynchronous elements of any courses designed (e.g., face-to-face, streaming audio or video, webinars, web-based course content). Explain the technical requirements for the institution and for the students and describe the course management system, if any, that will be used to offer or support the course. Describe who will be able to take the course both during and after the grant period; how the course and course content would be made available to other entities who might wish to use or adapt the courses (including the conditions of use and any assistance that would be provided to users); what costs would be charged to students both during and after the grant period; and how potential students and/or providers will be made aware of the course, e.g., through a searchable portal or clearinghouse.

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence that the methodology and design are appropriate to the scope of the project
  • Evidence of sound project management principles that adequately address budget, timeline, and personnel
  • Evidence that the project uses existing or emerging standards or best practices in the technical or disciplinary area to which the project relates
  • Evidence of a sound evaluation plan that clearly explains how the project will be assessed, using methods and procedures that result in valid, reliable, and generalizable findings

Additional Review Criteria Specific to Early Career Development Proposals:

  • Evidence that the proposal clearly articulates research questions and adequately addresses timeline and personnel
  • Evidence that methods chosen are the most appropriate for addressing the research questions that were posed based on the current scientific literature

4. Project Resources: Personnel, Time, Budget

Describe the resources, including those funded by the grant and those funded by the organization’s cost share, required to implement and complete the project. Include information such as the following:

  • Identification of key project staff, their duties, and their qualifications for successfully completing their project tasks
  • Identification of consultants and service providers involved in project activities, the process for selecting them, and how they will work with project staff
  • Qualifications of personnel assigned to manage project finances
  • A timeline for specific activities, showing how the results of one stage of the project carry over into the next one
  • The amount of time that key project staff will devote to the project and how they will balance project responsibilities with other ongoing duties
  • The facilities, equipment, and supplies necessary to support the project
  • Source(s) of matching funds and/or in-kind contributions, if applicable
  • Source(s) and use of revenues that will be derived from the project, if applicable
  • Contributions to and benefits from the project for both the applicant and partner organization(s), if applicable

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence that the applicant will complete the project activities in the time allocated through the effective deployment and management of resources, including personnel, money, facilities, equipment, and supplies
  • Evidence of sound financial management coupled with an appropriate and cost-efficient budget
  • Evidence that the applicant has the ability to meet any applicable cost share requirement
  • Evidence that the project personnel have appropriate experience and expertise and will commit adequate time to accomplish project activities
  • If the project includes a partnership, evidence that all partners are active contributors to the partnership activities

5. Diversity Plan

Describe how the project engages diverse communities and their shared experiences, world views, and ways of learning. Include information such as the following:

  • Identification of the diverse communities that will be served by the project
  • Description of the unique service needs for the identified population that will be served by the proposed project
  • Explanation for why this particular population was chosen
  • Explanation of how the proposed project will address the library service needs of those communities, particularly the needs of traditionally underserved groups and/or communities.

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence that the institution has the capacity to serve the identified diverse communities based on past performance or other relevant criteria
  • Evidence of how, exactly, the identified diverse communities will benefit from the proposed project in ways that would not be possible without IMLS support
  • Evidence that the proposed activities will serve the needs of diverse communities

6. Communication Plan

Describe the project’s communication plan. Include information such as the following:

  • The variety of media and other means the project will use to reach library, archive, museum, and other audiences that might benefit from its work
  • Description of the steps this project will take to ensure that new products and services will reach the target audiences (See www.imls.gov/recipients/grantee.aspx for ideas.)
  • The extent to which results, products, models, findings, processes, and other benefits of this project will be transparent and accessible through effective communication channels to the library field and to other professional organizations and communities that might benefit

Examples of communications methods might include but are not limited to webcasts, podcasts, e-mailings, press releases, conference presentations, publications, websites, project blogs, and community outlets. Multiple and interactive dissemination methods that extend throughout the life of the project, from initial funding through final evaluation, are desirable. You are encouraged to develop communication plans that have the potential to reach beyond your usual communities of interest.

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence that the results, products, models, findings, processes, and benefits of this project will be communicated effectively to the library field and to other professional organizations and communities
  • Evidence that communication activities will be ongoing throughout the project lifecycle rather than occur simply at the end of the project
  • Evidence that the project will seek feedback from various stakeholders
  • Evidence that the communities described in the Needs Assessment section can be reached and served through the proposed communications plan
  • Evidence that the project will make every reasonable attempt to communicate lessons learned and the results of the project beyond standard professional audiences and communities of interest

7. Sustainability Plan

Describe how the project, or portions or impacts of the project, will continue after the end of the funded grant activities. Include information such as the following:

  • The extent of ongoing institutional support of project activities or products, including websites
  • The continuing benefits resulting from the development of institutional expertise and capacity or through continuing access to project findings or products
  • The extent to which the project will lead to systemic change within the institution as well as within the library field

For projects involving distance education, you should identify who would own copyright on the course content and describe any restrictions placed on use of the course and course content during and after the grant period. You should also describe plans for preservation and maintenance of the course and course content during and after the grant period.

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence that the project’s benefits can be sustained beyond the grant period
  • For projects involving distance education, evidence that the project plan addresses issues of copyright and access on the course and course content during and after the grant period
  • For projects involving distance education, evidence that there are plans for preservation and maintenance of course and course content during and after the grant period
  • Evidence that the findings from research projects will inform practice and/or future research agendas

For this section of the application, reviewers will consider information provided in the Narrative, Budget Forms, Budget Justification, and Resumes.

 

LB21 DOCTORAL CATEGORY APPLICANTS ONLY

Instructions for Completing the Budget Form:
If you are applying for four years of funding, combine years 3 and 4 in the Year 3 column of the budget form and provide details for each year in the budget justification.

 

Link to Instructions for:
Schedule of Completion
Completing Budget Documents
Project Staff and Consultant Documents

Conditionally Required Documents

Link to information on providing:
Proof of Nonprofit Status

Please consult the table below to determine if any additional documents are required. If any of the conditions in the left column apply to your project, then the documents described in the right column are required. If you do not provide them, your application will be considered incomplete and will be rejected from further consideration.

If your project involves …

Then you must include …

A federally negotiated indirect cost rate

A current copy of your Federally Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement

A digital product (for example, a database of digital images, new software program)

Digital Content Supplementary Information Form, Parts I and II

Research that generates a digital dataset

Digital Content Supplementary Information Form, Parts I and II


Please note that if you are choosing the option of claiming a rate of 15 percent of indirect costs, you do not need to provide any documentation.

Click here for:
Requirements for Projects that Develop Digital Content

Download:
Digital Content Supplementary Information Form (PDF; 117KB)

Supporting Documents

You may submit other attachments of your choosing as part of your application package, but do not overload the reviewers with too much information. These attachments should include only information that will supplement the narrative and support the project description provided in the application. They should help reviewers envision your project, but they should not be used to answer narrative questions. You may wish to consider the following:

  • Letters of commitment from partners who will receive grant funds or contribute substantive funds to the completion of project activities
  • Bibliography of references relevant to your proposed project design or evaluation strategy
  • Letters of support from experts and/or stakeholders
  • Reports from planning activities
  • Products or evaluations from previously completed or ongoing projects of a similar nature
  • Collections, technology, or other departmental plans for the institution as applicable to the proposed project
  • Web links to relevant online materials
  • Needs assessments

Note: When attaching these documents, give each one a specific title for clear identification. All Supporting Documents must include dates of creation and authorship.

What Federal Laws Do I Agree to Comply With When I Submit My Application?

Click here to read the IMLS Assurances and Certifications



5. After You Apply

What is the application review process?

We use a two-tiered peer review process that includes individual field review and/or panel review to evaluate all eligible and complete applications. Reviewers and panelists are professionals in the field with relevant knowledge and expertise in the types of project activities identified in the applications. They are instructed to evaluate proposed projects according to the criteria identified in these guidelines. The Director of IMLS takes into account the advice provided by the review process and makes final funding decisions consistent with the purposes of the agency’s programs.

How can I serve as a reviewer?

All competitive awards are reviewed by library and museum professionals who know the needs of communities, can share best practices, and are well versed in the issues and concerns of museums and libraries today.

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, you may submit your information through our online reviewer application at www.imls.gov/reviewers/become.aspx. Please remember to attach your resume. Your information will be considered and, if accepted, your name will be entered into our reviewer database. You will be contacted prior to the next deadline regarding your availability to serve as a reviewer.

There are many benefits to reviewing applications, including enhancing your professional knowledge and serving the museum and library communities. If you are selected to serve, you will be helping IMLS and strengthening our grant review process.

When will we find out if we have been selected to receive a grant?

No information about the status of an application will be released until the applications have been reviewed and all deliberations are concluded. We expect to notify both funded and unfunded applicants of final decisions by late March 2014. Funded projects may not begin earlier than April 1, 2014.