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National Leadership Grants for Libraries

September 01, 2017
September 22, 2017
Grant Info: 

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2018 Cycle 1 is now available.
Deadline Extension: September 22, 2017 for applicants located in presidentially-declared disaster zones.

Program Overview:
National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG-L) support projects that address significant challenges and opportunities facing the library and archives fields and that have the potential to advance 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.

The application process for the NLG-L program is a two-phase process. 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.

We anticipate two FY18 NLG-L funding opportunities, each with two separate deadlines. In addition to the opportunity described in this Notice of Funding Opportunity, a separate NLG-L funding opportunity is anticipated to be announced in December 2017 with a preliminary proposal application submission due date in February 2018. Both opportunities are subject to the availability of funds and IMLS discretion and procedures.

For the NLG-L program, all applications must designate one of the following project categories:

  • Community Anchors
  • National Digital Platform
  • Curating Collections

Grant Amount: Sparks Grants: up to $25,000. Planning Grants: up to $50,000. National Forum Grants: up to $100,000. Project and Research Grants: up to $2,000,000.

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

Sparks Grants

Up to $25,000

No cost share required

Planning Grants

Up to $50,000

No cost share required

National Forum Grants

Up to $100,000

No cost share required

Project Grants

Up to $2,000,000

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

Research Grants

Up to $2,000,000

No cost share required

Click here for further information on cost sharing.

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

Eligibility: Applicants that fulfill the general criteria for libraries may apply. See the Notice of Funding Opportunity for special conditions of eligibility for this program.

Program Contacts (by project category):

Community Anchors (Sparks, Planning, Forum, and Project Grants):
Tim Carrigan, Senior Program Officer

Sarah Fuller, Senior Program Officer

Community Anchors (Research Grants):
Sandra Toro, PhD, Senior Program Officer

National Digital Platform and Curating Collections:
James Neal, Senior Program Officer

Emily Reynolds, Program Officer

Ashley Sands, PhD, Senior Program Officer

Grant Program Webinars: We invite you to participate in one of two pre-application webinars to learn more about the program and ask questions.