You are here

National Leadership Grants for Libraries

September 27, 2019

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2020 (PDF 470KB) 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. Successful proposals will generate results such as new tools, research findings, models, services, practices, or alliances that will be widely used, adapted, scaled, or replicated to extend the benefits of federal investment. This work may be achieved through proposals at various stages of maturity (exploring, piloting, enhancing, or scaling).

All applications must designate one of the following project categories:

  • Lifelong Learning
  • Community Catalysts
  • National Digital Infrastructures and Initiatives

The application process for the NLG-L program has two phases. In the first phase (Preliminary Proposal phase), all applicants must submit a two-page preliminary proposal by the deadline listed above. Selected applicants will be invited to submit full proposals in the second phase (Invited Full Proposal phase) of the process. Only invited full proposals will be considered for funding.

Invited full proposals will be due April 13, 2020.

Grant Amount: Planning Grants: up to $100,000. National Forum Grants: up to $150,000. Project and Research Grants: up to $1,000,000.

Cost Share Requirement: Cost sharing is not considered in the review of applications, but is an eligibility criterion for certain NLG-L projects, as follows:

Funding category

Award amount

Cost sharing requirement

Planning Grants

Up to $100,000

No cost share required

National Forum Grants

Up to $150,000

No cost share required

Project Grants

Up to $1,000,000

Projects requesting $250,000 or more in IMLS funds require 1:1 cost share

Research Grants

Up to $1,000,000

No cost share required

See the Notice of Funding Opportunity for further information on cost sharing.

Grant Period: One year for Planning Grants. One to two years for National Forum Grants. One to three years for Project Grants and Research Grants.

Eligibility: See the Notice of Funding Opportunity for eligibility criteria for this program.

Program Contacts: We encourage you to contact the member of our team whose portfolio most closely aligns with your proposal.

Jill Connors-Joyner,

  • Early learning
  • Young adult services
  • Informal STEM learning
  • Making

Sarah Fuller,

  • Community development
  • Workforce development
  • Services for new Americans
  • Public health

James Neal,

  • Broadband
  • Digital inclusion
  • Open educational resources
  • Data privacy and security
  • Archives and special collections
  • Community archives

Ashley, Sands, PhD,

  • Research data management
  • Scholarly communications
  • Open infrastructures
  • Digital collections
  • Digital preservation

Sandy Toro, PhD,

  • Native American library services
  • Native Hawaiian library services


If you have general questions, please contact

Grant Program Webinar: We invite you to watch a pre-application webinar to learn more about the program.