Grant Applicants - Notices of Funding Opportunities

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program – FY15 Notice of Funding Opportunity

Federal Awarding Agency:

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Funding Opportunity Title:  

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

Announcement Type:   

Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Number: 

LB21-FY15

Catalog of Federal Financial Assistance (CFDA) Number: 

45.313

Due Date:

Submit through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on September 15, 2014

Anticipated Date of Notification of Award Decisions:

Late March, 2015 (subject to the availability of funds and IMLS discretion)

Beginning Date of Period of Performance: 

Not earlier than April 1, 2015

Contents

  1. Program Description

  2. Federal Award Information

  3. Eligibility Information

  4. Application and Submission Information

  5. Application Review Process

  6. Award Administration Information

  7. Contacts

  8. Other Information

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.

 

A. Program Description 

What is the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21)

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) supports professional development, graduate education and continuing education to help libraries and archives develop the human capital capacity they need to meet the changing learning and information needs of the American public.

What are the project categories and agency priorities?

There are six project categories and three priorities.

Your application must designate one of the following six project categories on the Program Information Sheet. The same proposal may not be submitted to IMLS under more than one category.

Note: If your application has a recruitment component, you should address ways to bring to the profession skills required to enhance library and/or archives services; and broaden participation in the library profession, including but not limited to members of traditionally underserved groups and communities

 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.

 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.
  • 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 graduate programs in Library and Information Science or School Library Media may apply to this category (see Article C: Eligibility).

 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.

 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.

 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 collaboratively. Click here for the IMLS Guidance for Research Proposals.

 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.

We encourage internships and residency programs and are especially interested in increasing diversity in professional employment in libraries and archives.

There are three agency priorities for LB21 for FY 2015.

We are especially interested in supporting proposals to address the following priorities:

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

During a series of national convenings in 2014, IMLS staff and stakeholders discussed three priorities. Details are available here at www.imls.gov/news/imls_focus.aspx.

In particular, we wish to support professional development and continuing education programs that address the issues raised at these convenings. These include:

  • Digital services (content curation, user services, infrastructure design & management)
  • Hands-on, participatory learning services (maker spaces, learning labs, digital media studios, etc.)
  • Connected learning models
  • Community engagement
  • Mentorship, service learning, and practical models for development
  • Supporting STEM learning
  • Supporting projects that build capacity to embrace open-ended design challenges and proactive service developments.

What are the funding categories for LB21?

Applicants may choose to submit a Project Grant, Collaborative Planning Grant, or National Forum 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.

The award amount limitations are as follows:

  • Project Grants: $50,000 - $500,000
  • Planning Grants: up to $50,000
  • National Forum Grants: up to $100,000

Project Grants support fully developed projects for which needs assessments, collaboration development, feasibility analyses, prototyping, and other planning activities have been completed.

Planning Grants allow project teams to perform preliminary planning activities, such as analyzing needs and feasibility, solidifying collaboration, developing project work plans, or developing prototypes or proofs of concept. These activities should have the potential to lead to a full project, such as those described in Project Grants above. Planning Grant proposals may not include indirect costs (also known as administrative overhead) as part of the project budget.

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 or archives across the nation. Grant-supported meetings are expected to produce reports for wide dissemination 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 applications to IMLS grant programs. National Forum Grant recipients are required at the end of the project to submit to us a brief whitepaper for public distribution summarizing those expert recommendations, which we will post online.

Where can I find the Authorizing Statute and Regulations for this Funding Opportunity?

Statute: 20 U.S.C. 9101 et seq., in particular §9165 (Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program).

Regulations: 45 C.F.R. Parts 1180 – 1183, and applicable OMB Circulars and regulations.

Please Note: The recent Office of Management and Budget (OMB) final guidance on Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Grant Reform) has streamlined and consolidated grant requirements.  The Grant Reform can be found at 2 CFR Part 200.  Federal grantmaking agencies, including IMLS, are to formally adopt in whole or in part the Grant Reform by December 26, 2014.

The Grant Reform will be effective for all awards made after December 26, 2014.  While the IMLS regulations listed above are current as of the date of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (July, 2014), you will be required to follow those regulations that will be in effect at the time of award.  For this reason, you are encouraged to become familiar with the Grant Reform.

 

B. Federal Award Information

Total amount of funding expected to be awarded

$10,000,000

Anticipated number of awards

30

Range of awards

$50,000-$500,000

Average amount of funding per award

$336,000

Type of assistance instrument

Grant

Anticipated period of performance

April 2015 – April 2018

Anticipated start date:

Not earlier than April 1, 2015

 

The funding in the above Federal Award Information is subject to the availability of funds and IMLS discretion.

 

C. Eligibility Information

What are the eligibility requirements for LB21?

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:

  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 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 person.

  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 LB21 program 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. Federally operated libraries and museums may not apply for LB21 grants, but they may participate with applicants. Contact us before submitting a proposal involving a federal agency or federal collection. Non-Federal entities may serve as subrecipients or contractors and may receive IMLS grant funds as a result of the project. Consult with us about any eligibility questions before submitting an application.

Are there special conditions for institutions of higher education?

Yes, institutions of higher education have the following special conditions:

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 collaboratively. Libraries, library associations, and other library entities are not eligible for funding in this category.

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 collaboratively.

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 collaboration that includes one or more eligible library entities. Any of the eligible applicants in the collaboration may serve as the lead applicant.

Research
For all research projects, except Early Career Development Projects, all eligible entities may apply, either individually or collaboratively.

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.

What are the requirements for cost sharing?

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 grant after 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 Early Career Development, Collaborative Planning Grants and National Forum Planning Grants. Cost sharing is not expected for LB21 Research Grants and will not be considered in the review of the application.

How many applications may I submit?

You may submit as many applications as you wish; however, the same proposal may not be submitted to IMLS under more than one category. Generally, single institutions will receive only 1-2 grants per program during any one cycle.

What if I fail to meet the eligibility requirements?

IMLS will not review or make awards to ineligible applicants.

 

D. Application and Submission Information

How can I find the application package on Grants.gov?

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: LB21-FY15

Can I request an audio recording of this publication?

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

If needed because of difficulty using internet or for other accessibility reasons, potential applicants may also request paper copies of the materials. Use the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program web page for IMLS contact information. We are available by phone and through e-mail to discuss general issues relating to Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants.

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

Please review this notice and the Grants.gov requirements carefully. We make grants only to eligible applicants that submit complete applications, including attachments, through Grants.gov, on or before the deadline.

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

Click here to learn more about Grants.gov registration and Tips for Using Grants.gov.

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.

  • 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 Stewardship 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 collaborators?
  • 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? For projects where the intended outcomes involve building capacity of a program or organization, what are the targeted outcomes from intended project activities in terms of measurable, quantitative indicators?
  • For projects where the intended outcomes involve audience members, what are the targeted outcomes from intended project activities in terms of measurable, quantitative changes in knowledge, attitudes and/or behaviors?
  • For projects involving research and/or plans, what are the targeted results and products from project activities?
  • 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

  1. Legal Name: Enter 5a from SF424S.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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

  1. Select a. Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

  2. Select the appropriate Funding Category and

  3. Select the appropriate Project Category

  4. 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

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

  2. 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 points.

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

For each benefit, what performance indicators will be measured, and how will they be assessed against the originally stated goals?

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence that the project will increase the number of qualified professionals for employment as librarians or archivists
  • Evidence that the project will 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 meet library service needs not only in the communities served but also be generalizable to libraries of similar size and type
  • Evidence that the benefits of the project justify the costs
  • Evidence that this project will transform practice (innovative approaches will be given high consideration)
  • Strength of the proposed indicators as well as their target values (i.e. the targets you aim to reach)

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  any collaborators, 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 of a cost-effective approach that will support a clear return on investment
  • 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 (as applicable), 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 collaborators, 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 collaborators, evidence that all are active contributors to the project  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, adaptable 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 education and training projects, 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
  • 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.

Click here for Schedule of Completion instructions

Click here for instructions for Completing Budget Documents

Click here for Project Staff and Consultant Documents instructions

Conditionally Required Documents

Click here for Proof of Nonprofit Status instructions

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 copy of your current Federally Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement

A digital product (IMLS defines digital products very broadly. If you are developing anything through the use of information technology, you should assume that you need to complete this form.)

A Digital Stewardship Supplementary Information Form; click here for Requirements for Projects that Develop Digital Content

 

Please note that if you are eligible for and are choosing the option of claiming an indirect cost rate of 10 percent of modified total direct costs, you do not need to provide any documentation. Click here for further information on indirect costs.

Click here for Requirements for Projects that Develop Digital Content

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 subrecipients who will receive grant funds or entities that will 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

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.

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 the System for Award Management (SAM.gov) and how do I register?

Click here to learn more about SAM.gov Registration.

If your DUNS and SAM registrations are not active and current at the time of submission, your proposal will be rejected; if they are not active and current at the time of an award, your proposal cannot be funded.

When are proposals due?

For the FY15 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants, applicants must submit their applications through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on September 15, 2014.

We strongly recommend that you REGISTER EARLY and COMPLETE AND SUBMIT THE APPLICATION EARLY. Late applications are neither reviewed nor considered for funding. We make grants only to eligible applicants that submit complete applications, including attachments, through Grants.gov, on or before the deadline.

Contact the Grants.gov help line (1-800-518-4726) for assistance with hardware and software issues, registration issues, and technical problems. The help line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except for federal holidays, on which it is closed.

Once Grants.gov has received your submission, Grants.gov will send email messages regarding the progress of your application through the system. Over the next two business days, you should receive two emails. The first will confirm receipt of your application by the Grants.gov system and the second will indicate that the application has either been successfully validated by the system prior to transmission to the grantor agency or has been rejected due to errors. Once your submission is retrieved by the grantor agency, you will receive a third email. You can check the status of your application(s) after submission in Grants.gov, by using the "Track My Application" feature. You may also check the status of a submission by logging into your Grants.gov account using the Applicant Login and clicking on the "Check Application Status" link.

Are there funding restrictions?

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

What are Allowable and Unallowable Expenses?

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
  • publication of articles in open access journals
  • preservation of digital assets
  • 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, both for IMLS funds and for cost share, for Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants include:

  • salary substitution for regular employees
  • 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 and
  • pre-award costs.

Please Note: The recent Office of Management and Budget (OMB) final guidance on Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Grant Reform) has streamlined and consolidated grant requirements.  The Grant Reform can be found at 2 CFR Part 200.  Federal grantmaking agencies, including IMLS, are to formally adopt in whole or in part the Grant Reform by December 26, 2014.

The Grant Reform will be effective for all awards made after December 26, 2014; you will be required to follow those regulations that will be in effect at the time of award.  For this reason, you are encouraged to become familiar with the Grant Reform. If you have questions about the allowability of specific activities, call IMLS staff for guidance.

Are partner-related costs allowable?

Partners may strengthen an LB21 application, if they are appropriate to the project. An application may include one or more partners. The lead applicant must be eligible to apply as an individual entity, and all partners should be active contributors to project activities. Please note that we encourage the lead applicant to include a letter of support from each partner. Click here to learn more about partnerships.

What are the requirements regarding foreign travel?

All air transportation of persons or property that is paid in whole or in part with IMLS funds must be performed in accordance with applicable law, including but not limited to the Fly America Act (49 U.S.C. §40118). Each separate foreign trip must be itemized in the budget approved by IMLS. Foreign travel that is not included in the approved project budget must be specifically approved in writing by the appropriate IMLS program officer.  

What are my choices regarding indirect costs? 

You can choose to:

  • Use a current indirect cost rate already negotiated with a federal agency;
  • Use an indirect cost rate proposed to a federal agency for negotiation, but not yet approved, as long as it is approved by the time of award;
  • If you have never had a federally negotiated indirect cost rate and you are otherwise eligible, use a rate not to exceed 10% of total modified direct costs; or
  • Not include any indirect costs.

Click here for further information on indirect costs.

What are the requirements for cost sharing?

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 grant after subtraction of student support costs for most project categories. Click here for further information on cost sharing. Cost sharing of at least one third is encouraged, but not required, for Early Career Development, Collaborative Planning Grants and National Forum Planning Grants.

Cost sharing is not expected for Research Grants and will not be considered in the review of the application.

Any cost sharing that appears in your project budget should be carefully calculated; grantees are expected to meet their cost share commitments.

 

E. Application Review Process

What are the 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 collaboration is not required, it can help demonstrate a broad need, field-wide buy-in and input, access to appropriate expertise, and sharing of resources.

Reviewers of all applications will use the criteria listed in Section D (above) for evaluating individual parts of an application.

Is cost sharing considered in the review process? 

Cost sharing is not expected for Research Grants, and will not be considered in the review of the application.  For other funding categories, your projected cost share in any project budget is a consideration in the review of the application and should be carefully calculated.

What is the review and selection process?

IMLS uses a peer review process to evaluate eligible and complete applications. 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.

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 this notice. Conflicts of interest are identified prior to review and reviewers who may have conflicts with particular proposals are reassigned to review other projects. Written reviewers’ comments are provided to all applicants; while they are anonymized, they are otherwise not edited or altered by staff.

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.

When will awards be announced?

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 2015. Funded projects may not begin earlier than April 1, 2015.

 

F. Award Administration Information

How will I be notified about the results of the award process?

Award notifications will be sent electronically. The award packet sent to the Authorized Representative/Authorizing Official will contain the following:

  • appropriate cover letter(s)
  • the official grant award notification
  • the schedule of reporting dates and
  • links to the applicable documents, including general terms and conditions, reporting forms, etc.

The Project Director will receive the following:

  • copies of the cover letter(s)
  • a copy of the official grant award notification
  • the schedule of reporting dates
  • links to the applicable documents, including general terms and conditions, reporting forms, etc. and
  • when appropriate for a particular funding category, reviewer comments.

Applicants who do not receive awards will be notified at the same time.

What is the award period?

The grant award period will run from the first day of the month in which project activities are undertaken and will end on the last day of the month in which these activities are completed. Since the award period is directly related to project activities and determines when interim and final narrative and financial reports will be due, the beginning date of an award should not be changed when a grantee requests permission to incur project related costs before the award period begins. These pre-award costs are subject to written approval by the Program Officer.

What are the administrative and national policy requirements?

Organizations that receive IMLS grants or cooperative agreements are subject to the IMLS Assurances and Certifications and the IMLS General Terms and Conditions for IMLS Discretionary Awards (General Terms and Conditions). Organizations that receive IMLS funding must be familiar with these requirements and comply with applicable law.

What are the reporting requirements?

Reports are due according to the reporting schedule that accompanies your award notification. Please note that grantees must submit performance reports in the format defined by the IMLS; both interim and final performance reports may be accessible on the IMLS website to support the agency’s commitment to open government, to engage the public in communities of practice and to inform proposal development and grant making strategies. Click here for details and forms.

What are the performance expectations?

In the performance reports, refer to your measured indicators and assess them against your originally stated goals of the application. The benefits identified in the “Impact” section should be noted, along with the performance indicators.

What do I need to know about acknowledgement of IMLS support, sharing IMLS-supported work products and copyright, data management and sharing?

Read more about acknowledgement of IMLS support, sharing IMLS-supported work products and copyright, data management and sharing.

 

G. Contacts

How can I contact program staff?

Use the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program web page for IMLS contact information. We are available by phone and through e-mail to discuss general issues relating to Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants.

How can I participate in a webinar?

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 Tuesday, 29 July, and Wednesday, 13 August, both at 3 PM Eastern. See the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program web page for more information.

Also available for FY 2015 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program applicants is the following Applicant 101 web presentation and handout. To view our Applicant 101 web presentation and handout, you must have Adobe® Acrobat Pro or Reader version 9 or above to be able to see the PDF presentation below. Get Plug-in.

Applicant 101 LB 21 Narrated Web Presentation (PDF, 20 MB)
Applicant 101 Web Presentation handout (PDF; 1 MB)

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

 

H. Other Information

What are the requirements regarding conflict of interest?

You must comply with IMLS’ Conflict of Interest Requirements. These requirements include disclosing in writing to IMLS or pass-through entity any potential conflict of interest.

How long should it take 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 IMLS 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.

How can I become a reviewer?

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.

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