August 13, 2014


IMLS Press Contact
Giuliana Bullard, 202-653-4799

Notice of Funding Opportunity: FY2015 National Leadership Grants for Libraries

IMLS seeks proposals that address new strategic priorities identified in nationally-webcast IMLS Focus meetings

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services announces the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the first round of FY 2015 National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG). The IMLS National Leadership Grants for Libraries program invests $12 million annually in projects that improve professional library and archive practice with implications far beyond the grantee institutions. The grants help drive innovation and support projects with national impact.

This year, IMLS is adding an additional opportunity to apply for FY 2015 National Leadership Grants for Libraries. IMLS will be accepting applications in October and again in February.   

For the October deadline we are implementing some changes that will allow the agency to address strategic issues identified in a series of IMLS Focus meetings that were held earlier this year. To make it possible for IMLS to provide feedback to potential applicants before they prepare full proposals, we will be accepting brief preliminary proposals on October 13, 2014 and inviting selected applicants to submit full proposals. Invited full proposals will be due on January 15, 2015.

Applicants interested in learning more may participate in our webinars on August 20, at 3:00 PM ET, and (repeated) on September 16, at 3:00 PM ET. For more information about the webinars, see the IMLS Webinar webpage.  

Last spring, agency leadership traveled to New York, San Francisco and Chicago to convene IMLS Focus, a series of nationally webcasted meetings to explore library trends and opportunities. These interactive events spotlighted the importance of strong libraries to benefit all Americans by providing opportunities for lifelong learning, anchors for community engagement, and access to content. Hundreds of library professionals and representatives of library organizations participated in these meetings nationwide, online and in person, for a rich discussion that captured input to help IMLS focus its approach to supporting innovation in the nation’s libraries.

The October 13, 2014, deadline for NLG libraries will focus on the three strategic priorities that were explored in these meetings.

  • National digital platform, which focuses on key needs, gaps, opportunities, and goals to consider in furthering national digital initiatives

  • Learning spaces in libraries, which focuses on emerging learning models that can deepen community engagement in libraries, particularly through learning labs, makerspaces, and digital commons

  • STEM learning in libraries, which focuses on learning for all types of users, with an emphasis on models or practices that serve at-risk youth

Timeline at a Glance for October Deadline NLG

NLG Libraries:  October 13, 2014 Deadline


NOFO released

August 13, 2014

Preliminary proposals due

October 13, 2014

Notification of invitations


Full proposal due from invited applicants

January 15, 2015

Notification of final decisions

Not later than March 15, 2015

Project start date

May 1, 2015


For the February deadline, we will not require preliminary proposals. The NOFO for the February 2, 2015, deadline will be released in December, 2014.

Timeline at a Glance for February Deadline NLG

NLG Libraries: February 1, 2015 Deadline


NOFO released

December, 2014

Full proposals due

February 1, 2015

Notification of final decisions

September 2015

Project start date

October 1, November 1 or December 1, 2015


About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


National Leadership Grants for Libraries