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Apply for a Grant

Organizations and institutions that utilize third-party software to submit applications via may encounter old or outdated forms. IMLS cannot provide technical assistance for any issues applicants encounter with proprietary software. The final and correct versions of all IMLS application packages can be found on the portal directly.

The Application Process

1. Search for available grants
Grant programs and deadlines can be searched by name, by eligible institution type, and by project type.

2. Check eligibility requirements
Eligibility criteria will vary by program. Checking the program-specific criteria will help you ensure you're applying for the right grant for your institution. Read more.

3. Read application Notice of Funding Opportunities
Read through the application Notice of Funding Opportunities carefully to get all the information you need on the grant program. Read more.

4. Compose your application
Use the following Applicant Tools & Materials links to help you compose a stronger, more competitive application.

a. Sample Applications - Examples of successful applications from previous years

b. Outcome Based Evaluations - Introduction to and resources for successful program evaluation

c. Shaping Outcomes - An IMLS-funded online course on outcomes-based planning and evaluation, which will help participants improve program designs and evaluations.

d. Grantee Requirements - Administration and dissemination requirements for all grantees

e. Reviewer Materials - Guidelines and handbooks used during application review

5. Contact an IMLS Staff Member
We welcome calls from applicants and are happy to answer any questions about the grant application and review process. Conversations with staff can provide useful guidance and help you to explore how your idea may match the goals of a grant program. To reach an IMLS staff member please click on a link below for the grant program in which you are interested.

6. Submit your application via
Consult our guidelines to ensure we will receive your application, complete and on-time. Read more.

7. What happens next?
Learn how applications are reviewed and when grant announcements are made. Read more.


Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program
October 02, 2020

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2021 (PDF 500KB) is now available
Program Overview: The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) supports developing a diverse workforce of librarians to better meet the changing learning and information needs of the American public.

National Leadership Grants for Libraries
October 02, 2020

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2021 (PDF 459KB) is now available.
Program Overview: National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG-L) support projects that enhance the quality of library and archive services nationwide by advancing theory and practice.