Grant Applicants - Program Guidelines

Native American Library Services Enhancement Grants – FY12 Guidelines
Application Deadline: May 1, 2012
(Projects must begin October 1, November 1, or December 1, 2012.)

Date Posted: February 10, 2012
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 45.311

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 Native American Library Services Enhancement Grants Web page for IMLS contact info.

Teletype (TTY/TDD) (for persons with hearing difficulty): 202/653-4614

Upon request, IMLS will provide an audio recording of this or any other publication.

Web Conferencing with Program Staff
IMLS staff are available by phone and through e-mail to discuss general issues relating to Native American Library Services Enhancement 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 Enhancement Grants Web page for date/time 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.

Office of Management and Budget Clearance Numbers
Guidelines: OMB No. 3137-0029; Expiration Date: August 31, 2013.
Forms: OMB No. 3137-0071; Expiration Date: August 31, 2013.

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, 3 hours per response for the Detailed Budget and Summary Budget, and 10 minutes per response for the Partnership Statement.

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 Enhancement Grants?

Enhancement Grants are competitive grants available to support activities that advance your library operations to new levels of service.

What is the deadline for applying for an Enhancement Grant?

The FY2012 deadline for Native American Library Enhancement Grants is May 1, 2012.

What is the period of time in which we can conduct activities funded by a FY12 Enhancement Grant?

Projects must begin on October 1, November 1, or December 1, 2012. Projects must begin on the first day of the month and end on the last day of the final month of the project. Generally, project activities supported by Enhancement Grants may be carried out for up to two years.

How much money can my institution apply for?

Enhancement Grant awards are up to $150,000.

Do we have to provide funds from other sources in order to be eligible for an Enhancement Grant?

Cost sharing is encouraged but not required in this program.Click here for further information on cost sharing.

What types of activities can be funded with an Enhancement Grant?

Enhancement Grant projects may enhance existing library services or implement new library services, particularly as they relate to the following goals in the updated IMLS statute (20 U.S.C. §9141):

(1) Expanding services for learning and access to information and educational resources in a variety of formats, in all types of libraries, for individuals of all ages in order to support such individuals’ needs for education, lifelong learning, workforce development, and digital literacy skills
(2) Establishing or enhancing electronic and other linkages and improved coordination among and between libraries and entities for the purpose of improving the quality of and access to library and information services
(3) (A) Providing training and professional development, including continuing education, to enhance the skills of the current library workforce and leadership, and advance the delivery of library and information services, and
      (B) Enhancing efforts to recruit future professionals to the field of library and information services
(4) Developing public and private partnerships with other agencies and community-based organizations
(5) Targeting library services to individuals of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, to individuals with disabilities, and to individuals with limited functional literacy or information skills
(6) Targeting library and information services to persons having difficulty using a library and to underserved urban and rural communities, including children (from birth through age 17) from families with incomes below the poverty line (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget and revised annually in accordance with section 9902(2) of title 42) applicable to a family of the size involved
(7) Developing library services that provide all users access to information through local, state, regional, national, and international collaborations and networks
(8) Carrying out other activities consistent with the purposes of the Library Services and Technology subchapter of the IMLS statute (20 U.S.C. §9121).

How many applications can we submit to this program?

You may apply for one Enhancement Grant in a fiscal year. You are required to have an active Basic Grant application in the same fiscal year to be eligible to apply for an Enhancement Grant. The same population cannot be served by more than one Enhancement Grant.

A grantee receiving a two-year Enhancement Grant may not apply for another Enhancement Grant covering the second year of the first grant. For example, if you receive a two-year Enhancement Grant in FY2012, you may not apply for another Enhancement Grant until FY2014.

Acknowledgement and Copyright/Work Products

Read more about Acknowledgement and Copyright/Work Products

What requirements govern 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.

What expenses are allowable with Enhancement Grant funds?

Examples of allowable expenses for Enhancement Grants include

  • project personnel (contract or in-house) whose staff time is necessary for the proper and efficient execution of the project;
  • project consultants;
  • purchase of equipment, materials, supplies, or services;
  • project activities;
  • integration of technology into operations or programs;
  • project-related travel of key project staff and consultants;
  • evaluation to show the extent to which the project has met its goals; and
  • indirect or overhead costs.

You must justify all proposed expenses in your application budget.

We expect that funds will support projects that provide services to the public.

What expenses are not allowable with Enhancement Grant funds?

Enhancement Grant funds may not be used for any of the following activities:

  • social activities, ceremonies, receptions, or entertainment
  • contributions to endowments
  • construction or renovation of facilities
  • pre-award costs

(Note: If you have questions about the allowability or unallowability of specific activities, please call us for guidance.)

Are Partnerships Required for Enhancement Grants?

Partnerships may strengthen an Enhancement Grant application if they are appropriate to the project, but they are not required. An application may include one or more partners. The lead applicant in a partnership must be eligible to apply as an individual entity, and all members of a partnership should be active contributors to project activities. Read more about partnerships.


2. Eligibility

Indian tribes, Alaska native villages, regional corporations, and village corporations are eligible to apply for funding under the Native American Library Services grant program. Entities such as libraries, schools, tribal colleges, or departments of education are not eligible applicants, although they may be involved in the administration of this program and their staff may serve as project directors, in partnership with an eligible applicant.

For purposes of funding under this program, "Indian tribe" means any tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska native village, regional corporation, or village corporation (as defined in, or established pursuant to, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)), which is recognized by the Secretary of the Interior as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians. A list of eligible entities is available from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, except for the recognized Alaska native villages, regional corporations, and village corporations, which should refer to applicable provisions in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, referenced above.

Minimum Requirements of Library Service

You will be required to document ongoing levels of library services in the "Institutional Profile" section of the application (see Program Information Sheet, item 7). At a minimum, you should be able to document an existing library that meets three basic criteria: (1) regularly scheduled hours, (2) staff, and (3) materials available for library users.


3. Registration Requirements

Getting a D-U-N-S® Number
Read more about Getting a D-U-N-S® Number.

CCR Registration
Read more about CCR Registration. Registration
Read more about Registration and Tips for Using


4. Preparing and Submitting an Application


For the FY12 Enhancement Grants, will accept applications through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 1, 2012.


Apply for Grants:

Use one of the following identifiers to locate the Enhancement Grants package in
CFDA No: 45.311
Funding Opportunity Number: NAG-ENHANCEMENT-FY12

What documents are required and how should they be completed, formatted, named, and sequenced?

Please see the Table of Application Components below. Links to more information and instructions for completing forms are provided in the table. Applications missing any Required Documents or applicable Conditionally Required Documents from this list will be considered incomplete and will be rejected from further consideration.

You should also use this table to determine the format of each document, the name it must be given, and the sequence in which the documents should be attached.

We will not accept file formats other than PDF and we will not convert files for you. For assistance in converting documents to PDF, visit Also, please do not send secured PDFs because we cannot process these files.

Please note that, aside from the first two documents listed, all documents must be submitted as PDF documents, regardless of how they were created. Documents listed as IMLS forms are available in both Microsoft® Word document and fill-in PDF formats, and are located on the IMLS Web site. If you do not have Adobe® Pro, we suggest using the Word document to complete the forms. Remember, the Word version must later be converted to and submitted as a PDF.

Be sure to note the maximum page limits for certain components.  We will remove any pages above the limit, and we will not send them to reviewers as part of your application.

Append all the documents to the attachments form in the sequence used in the Table of Application Components. Use all the available spaces in the "Mandatory Documents for Submission" box first. If there are more attachments than will fit there, use the "Optional Documents for Submission" box for the remaining ones, following the same naming convention and submitting them one at a time.

You may use this table as a checklist to ensure that you have created and attached all the documents that may be necessary for a complete application. We suggest assembling and uploading your documents in this sequence to assist you in confirming the inclusion of all required materials.

Table of Application Components

Component Format File name to use
Required Documents
The Application for Federal Assistance/Short Organizational Form (SF-424S) form n/a
Abstract (to be uploaded through (one page, max.) Text document that you create n/a
Program Information Sheet IMLS PDF form Programinfo.pdf
Narrative (eight pages, max.) PDF document Narrative.pdf
Schedule of Completion (one page per year, max.) PDF document Scheduleofcompletion.pdf
Detailed Budget Form (by year, as appropriate) IMLS PDF form Detailedbudgetyear1.pdf
Summary Budget Form IMLS PDF form Summarybudget.pdf
Budget Justification (two pages, max.) 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
Federally Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (if applicable) PDF document Indirectcostrate.pdf
Partnership Statement Form(s) (if applicable) IMLS PDF form Partners.pdf
Specifications for Projects that Develop Digital Products Form (if applicable) IMLS PDF form Specificationsdigital.pdf
Supporting Documents
Information that supplements the narrative and supports the project description provided in the application PDF document Supportingdoc1.pdf


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

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

  • What is the time frame for the project?
  • What community need will the project address?
  • Who is the intended audience for the activities?
  • What will be the specific project activities, results, and tangible products?
  • What are the intended outcomes for audience members in terms of measurable changes in knowledge, skills, attitudes, or behavior?

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 the legal name of the applicant.

b. and c. Organizational Unit and Address: Use Street1 for the organization’s street address or post office box number, whichever is used for its U.S. Postal Service mailing address. Street2 is not a required field and should be used only when a suite or room number or other similar information is part of the address. Be sure to include the four-digit extension on the ZIP code.

d. Web Address: If an organizational unit is listed, enter its Web address here. If not, enter the Web site of the entity listed under Legal Name in Section 1a above.

e. Type of Institution: Select the box for "Native American Tribe/Native Hawaiian Organization."

2. Grant Program or Grant Program Category
Select "Native American/Native Hawaiian Library Services" and the appropriate project type designation.

3. 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. Please note that cost sharing is encouraged but not required for Enhancement Grants. Read more about cost share.

4. Applicants for Enhancement Grants should skip section 4.

5. Project Partners
In the space provided, list all organizations that are partners for the project. Note: Each partner listed in this section is required to complete and submit a Partnership Statement form to the lead applicant for submission with the application.

6. Applicants for Enhancement Grants should skip section 6.

7. Institutional Profile
Fill out the information for all items (a through j) in this section.

For (i.), "Supported Activities," check all applicable boxes next to the activities that will be supported by the grant. These activities are the focus of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and are not listed in priority order.

For (j.), "Maintenance of Effort," check the one box that most appropriately corresponds to the applicant’s level of maintenance of effort for library services in the past year. IMLS Native American Library Services grants are not intended to replace funds allocated for library services by the applicant. An applicant receiving an IMLS Native American Library Services grant should expend the same amount or more for library services during the grant period (excluding the grant amount) than was expended in the 12-month period immediately preceding it.

8. Applicants for Enhancement Grants should skip section 8., "Collection and Material Information."

Download Program Information Sheet:
Adobe® PDF (318 KB)
Microsoft® Word Document (118 KB)


Write a narrative that addresses the four components listed and explained below. Limit the narrative to eight single-spaced, numbered pages. We will remove any pages above the 8-page limit, and we will not send them to reviewers as part of your application.

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. Use Supporting Documents to provide supplementary material.

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 four narrative sections as you write. Address the four 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 Web site, as listed on the SF-424S form provided with this application.

1 . Introduction and Assessment of Need (2 pages suggested)

  • Briefly describe your community, including population profile, location, economy, educational levels, languages, culture, and other characteristics that you consider important.
  • Describe the current role of the library in the community and the services it provides, (e.g., mission, goals, hours and days of operation, staffing, number of registered patrons, circulation statistics, programs offered).
  • Describe the purpose of the proposed Enhancement Grant project as it relates to a specific need that you have identified.  What specific audience(s) will the library serve with this project? (e.g., particular age groups, underserved community members, other types of target audience).
  • What type of assessment was conducted to identify this need as a priority for the library? Describe the results of the assessment, including baseline data that can be used to compare with final results to determine the project’s success. Why do you consider your approach to be the best solution to meet the needs of the targeted audience?

Evaluation Criteria: Reviewers will look for evidence that the applicant has conducted a formal or informal assessment of community needs and library capacity and carefully considered the appropriate role for the library in addressing the need it has identified for the project. They will look for baseline data that can be used to determine project results.

2. Project Goals and Expected Results (1½ pages suggested)

  • What results do you want to see at the end of the project period? In other words, what new knowledge, skills, attitudes, or behaviors do you expect to see in your audience? How will it specifically benefit the individuals or groups that you have served?
  • Describe the goals that will be established to guide your project to completion. (Goals are statements of broad results that guide the organization’s design of programs, choice of projects, and management decisions.)

Evaluation Criteria: Reviewers will look for efficient, effective, and reasonable goals that will achieve clearly envisioned project results and improve the audience’s knowledge, skills, attitudes, or behaviors in particular ways. They will look for indications that the project is realistic and achievable.

Resources for Evaluating a Project’s Impact
Click here for helpful information about project evaluation.

3. Project Design and Required Resources
(3 pages suggested)

  • For each project goal, describe in narrative form the specific resources you will need to achieve success (including permanent staff expertise and time commitment, temporary staff, consultants, materials, equipment, training, technology, partners, etc.). Also describe in the narrative how you will carry out the activities and services that you have planned in order to ensure your project’s success.  Include a timeline of activities for each goal.
  • If your project includes plans to create digital products, you must provide evidence that you have considered key inventory needs, technical requirements, and access issues relating to your digitization project. The Specifications for Projects That Develop Digital Products, with relevant portions of Parts I and II completed, is a required document.

Evaluation Criteria: Reviewers will look for indications that the design, methods, and timeline match the scope of the project; that project goals can be met successfully; and that project personnel have relevant expertise and can commit adequate time to carry out the project activities and achieve project goals. Reviewers will look for evidence that partners are contributing to and benefiting from the project, if appropriate.

4. Evaluation Methods, Dissemination, and Sustainability (1½ pages suggested)

  • How will you know whether this project was successful? How will you know what knowledge, skills, attitudes, or behaviors have been changed in the target audience?
  • How will you measure it?  What information will be collected during the project to compare with the baseline data to determine these changes? How often will you collect it?  What data sources will you use?  (Data sources can include surveys, interviews, or informal feedback.)  During the project, what interim benchmarks will be established to ensure that the project stays on track?
  • Describe specific methods by which information about project results and lessons learned will be shared both locally and nationally with the Native American community and the library field. (For example, what radio, newspaper, TV outlets, and community meeting venues will you use for local coverage?  What conferences, web sites, or blogs, etc. will you take advantage of to get the word out to a broader audience?).
  • Describe your plan to sustain project activities and results beyond the period of federal funding. What specific, viable alternative funding sources are you considering?

Evaluation Criteria: Reviewers will look for indications that reliable information that demonstrates the extent of the project’s success will be collected. Reviewers will look for evidence that evaluation will take place on a continuing basis to allow for adjustments and improvements in the project design. They will want information that shows how project results will be broadly disseminated. Reviewers will look for evidence that there is a solid plan for continued support after the end of the grant period.

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

Conditionally Required Documents

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 partner who will receive grant funds or who will contribute substantive funds to the completion of project activities

An IMLS Partnership Statement form for each partner entity

A digital product (for example, a collection of digital images, digital books, or similar projects)


Specifications for Projects that Develop Digital Products Form, Parts I and II

Research that generates a digital dataset

Specifications for Projects that Develop Digital Products Form, Part III

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

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:

  • Needs assessments (i.e. formal or informal documentation used to justify, evaluate, and plan projects)
  • Letters of commitment from consultants, partners, or other groups that will work closely with the applicant on this project
  • Letters of support from subject-matter experts who are familiar with your proposed project
  • Long-range Plan
  • Reports from planning activities
  • Vendor quotes
  • Equipment specifications
  • Web links to relevant online materials

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

Assurances and Certifications

What Federal Laws Do I Agree to Comply With When I Submit My Application?
As an applicant for Federal funds, you must certify that you are responsible for complying with certain nondiscrimination, debarment and suspension, drug-free workplace, and lobbying laws. These are outlined below and are set out in more detail, along with other requirements, in the Assurances and Certifications. By signing the application form, which includes the Assurances and Certifications, you certify that you are in compliance with these requirements and that you will maintain records and submit any reports that are necessary to ensure compliance. Your failure to comply with these statutory and regulatory requirements may result in the suspension or termination of your grant and require you to return funds to the government.

1. Nondiscrimination Statutes: You certify that you do not discriminate:

  • On the grounds of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency), in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. §2000d et seq.);
  • On the grounds of disability, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. §701 et seq., including §794);
  • On the basis of age, in accordance with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. §6101 et seq.); and
  • On the basis of sex, in any education program or activity, in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq.)

2. Debarment and Suspension (2 C.F.R. Part 180 and 2 C.F.R. Part 3185):
You certify that neither you nor your principals: (a) are presently excluded or disqualified; (b) have been convicted within the preceding three years of offenses listed in 2 C.F.R. §180.800 (including but not limited to: fraud, antitrust, embezzlement, or offense indicating lack of business integrity) or have had a civil judgment rendered again you or them for one of such offenses within that time period; (c) are presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a governmental entity (Federal, State, or local) with commission of any of such offenses; or (d) have had one or more public transactions (Federal, State, or local) terminated within the preceding three years for cause or default. Where you are unable to certify to any of the above, you must attach an explanation to this application. You must also comply with applicable sections of the OMB guidance in 2 C.F.R. part 180, and include a term or condition in lower-tier transactions requiring lower-tier participants to comply with subpart C of the OMB guidance in 2 C.F.R. part 180.

3. Federal Debt Status:
You certify that you are not delinquent in the repayment of any Federal debt. Examples include delinquent payroll or other taxes, audit disallowances, and benefit overpayments.

4. Drug-Free Workplace:
You must provide a drug-free workplace by complying with the requirements of 2 C.F.R. part 3186. This includes: making a good faith effort to maintain a drug-free workplace; publishing a drug-free workplace statement; establishing a drug-free awareness program for your employees; taking actions concerning employees who are convicted of violating drug statutes in the workplace; and identifying (either at the time of your application or upon award, or in documents that you keep on file in your offices) all known workplaces under your Federal awards.

5. Lobbying Activities (31 U.S.C. §1352):
You are subject to various restrictions against lobbying or attempting to influence a Federal employee or a Member of Congress or Congressional employees, in connection with legislation, appropriations, or the award or modification of a Federal contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or loan. Certain additional restrictions apply if you are requesting over $100,000 in Federal assistance.

The Assurances and Certifications contain other general requirements that may apply depending on the nature of your grant activity (for example, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 and the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966).

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 the program guidelines. The Director 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 professionals who know the needs of communities, can share best practices, and are well versed in the issues and concerns of libraries today.

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, you may submit your information through our online reviewer application at 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. IMLS expects to notify both funded and unfunded applicants of final decisions by September 2012. Funded projects may not begin earlier than October 1, 2012.