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Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries

Deadline: 
February 15, 2016
Grant Info: 

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2016 is now available.

Grant Amount: $10,000 to $25,000

Grant Period: Up to one year

Cost Share Requirement:  No matching requirements.

Program Contact

Tim Carrigan, Senior Library Program Officer
202-653-4639
tcarrigan@imls.gov 

Sandra Toro, PhD, Senior Library Program Officer
202-653-4662
storo@imls.gov 

Emily Reynolds, Library Program Officer
202-653-4665
ereynolds@imls.gov

Program Overview:

Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries are a special funding opportunity within the IMLS National Leadership Grants for Libraries program. These small grants encourage libraries and archives to test and evaluate specific innovations in the ways they operate and the services they provide. Sparks Grants support the deployment, testing, and evaluation of promising and groundbreaking new tools, products, services, or organizational practices. You may propose activities or approaches that involve risk, as long as the risk is balanced by significant potential for improvement in the ways libraries and archives serve their communities.

Successful proposals will address problems, challenges, or needs of broad relevance to libraries and/or archives. A proposed project should test a specific, innovative response to the identified problem and present a plan to make the findings widely and openly accessible.

To maximize the public benefit from federal investments in these grants, the Sparks! program will fund only projects with the following characteristics:

Broad Potential Impact—You should identify a specific problem or need that is relevant to many libraries and/or archives and propose a testable and measurable solution. Proposals must demonstrate a thorough understanding of current issues and practices in the project’s focus area and discuss its potential impact within libraries and/or archives. Proposed innovations should be widely adoptable or adaptable.

Significant Innovation—The proposed solution to the identified problem must offer strong potential for non-incremental, significant advancement in the operation of libraries and/or archives. You must explain how the proposed activity differs from current practices or takes advantage of an unexplored opportunity, and the potential benefit to be gained by this innovation.

Eligibility:  Libraries that fulfill the general criteria for libraries may apply. In addition, institutions of higher education, including public and nonprofit universities, are eligible.

Grant Program Webinars:

Date: January 7, 2016
Time: 3-4pm
Guest Link: https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=2012653&password=M.D497FF7B24150EC086E56A411A27CC
Teleconference Information: 1(866)299-7945 Code: 9910420

Date: January 13, 2016
Time: 2-3pm
Guest Link: https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=2012653&password=M.FCC5690D5E4BC030CEB6F462A03C77
Teleconference Information: 1(866)299-7945 Code: 9910420

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. Click here for instructions.