Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Recent Grants

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Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian (LB21) Program

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    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)


    This program is designed to support the development of a diverse workforce of librarians and archivists in order to meet the information needs of their communities. As a result, Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants have significant potential to generate positive societal impact through project activities undertaken as part of the grant-funded work, activities that may be complementary to the project, and through applied research designed specifically for this purpose. IMLS does not prescribe the type, focus, reach, or scale of societal impact required for each project, but the questions to be addressed in the application Narrative and the review criteria reflect the agency's commitment to both advancing knowledge and understanding and to ensuring that the federal investment made through grants generates benefits to society. Applicants should keep these two aims in mind when they conceptualize their projects, identify the target group(s) they propose to reach, prepare their work plans, and formulate their intended results.

    The mission of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is to advance, support, and empower America's museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Guiding our grantmaking are three agency-level goals with two objectives each.

    • Goal 1: Champion Lifelong Learning 
      • Objective 1.1: Advance shared knowledge and learning opportunities for all.
      • Objective 1.2:Support the training and professional development of the museum and library workforce
    • Goal 2: Strengthen Community Engagement 
      • Objective 2.1: Promote inclusive engagement across diverse audiences. 
      • Objective 2.2: Support community collaboration and foster civic discourse.. 
    • Goal 3: Advance Collections Stewardship and Access
      • Objective 3.1: Support collections care and management. 
      • Objective 3.2: Promote access to museum and library collections.

    This program is designed to support the development of a diverse workforce of librarians and archivists in order to meet the information needs of their communities. Projects are expected to:

    • propose far-reaching impact to influence practice across one or more disciplines within the libraries and archives fields;
    • reflect a thorough understanding of current practice, knowledge about the subject matter, and an awareness of and support for current strategic priorities in the field; and
    • use collaboration to demonstrate broad need, wide buy-in and input, and access to appropriate expertise.

    In FY 2023, the LB21 program will support the following types of projects:

    • Planning Projects support exploratory activities, such as analyzing needs and feasibility; solidifying partnerships; developing project work plans; or developing prototypes, proofs of concept, and pilot studies. Applications should identify planning activities that have the potential to lead to future implementation.
    • Forum Projects support convening qualified experts and key stakeholders, including those from adjacent fields as appropriate, to help explore current or emerging issues or opportunities that are important to professional development and education-related issues in libraries and archives across the nation. Reports and other deliverables should be prepared for wide dissemination. Convenings should leverage technology, such as virtual meetings or live streaming, to allow broad participation. Additional mechanisms for engaging stakeholders and building awareness of the findings are encouraged.
    • Implementation Projects support developing faculty, library, and archives leaders and contributing to the professional development and retention of library and archives staff who serve the nation. Implementation projects may develop new tools and resources or expand existing products or services for new audiences or in new contexts. Applicants should design their proposed work to ensure that new practices have the potential to be easily adoptable, sustainable, and widely implementable across the field.
    • Applied Research Projects support the investigation of key questions relevant to library or archival professional practice, building on prior empirical, theoretical, or exploratory work in libraries and archives or other relevant disciplines. Applicants must include clearly articulated research questions and feature appropriate methods, including relevant theoretical or conceptual approaches, data collection, and analysis. Findings and their implications for library and archival practice should be shared broadly throughout the grant period of performance, rather than exclusively at the end of the project. Dissemination activities should extend beyond publishing journal articles and presenting at academic conferences. Research projects should not be designed with a deterministic agenda or predetermined outcomes. Proposals focused on evaluation are not appropriate for the Applied Research project category and should be submitted under the Implementation project category above.

    History of Funding

    Previously funded projects can be viewed at: https://www.imls.gov/grants/awarded-grants?field_states=All&field_city=&field_program_categories_text=Laura+Bush+21st+Century+Librarian+Program&field_institution=&fulltext_search=

    Additional Information

    The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program uses four performance measures as a basis for understanding (1) how well the grant program is meeting its goals and (2) how individual projects are being managed.

    • Effectiveness: The extent to which activities contribute to achieving the intended results
    • Efficiency: How well resources (e.g., funds, expertise, time) are used and costs are minimized while generating maximum value for the target group
    • Quality: How well the activities meet the requirements and expectations of the target group
    • Timeliness: The extent to which each task/activity is completed within the timeframe proposed


    James Neal

    James Neal
    955 L'Enfant Plaza North, SW Suite 4000
    Washington, DC 20024-2135
    (202) 653-4740

  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants must be one of the following types of organizations:
    • A library or a parent organization, such as a school district, a municipality, a state agency, or an academic institution, that is responsible for the administration of a library. Eligible libraries include public libraries, elementary and secondary school libraries, college and university libraries, research libraries and archives that are not an integral part of an institution of higher education and that make publicly available library services and materials that are suitable for scholarly research and not otherwise available, and private or special libraries that have been deemed eligible to participate in this program by the state in which the library is located;
    • An academic or administrative unit, such as a graduate school of library and information science, which is a part of an institution of higher education through which it would make application;
    • A digital library, if it makes library materials publicly available and provides library services, including selection, organization, description, reference, and preservation under the supervision of at least one permanent professional staff librarian;
    • A library agency that is an official agency of a state or other unit of government and is charged by the law governing it with the extension and development of public library services within its jurisdiction;
    • A library consortium that is a local, statewide, regional, interstate, or international cooperative association of library entities that provides for the systematic and effective coordination of the resources of eligible libraries, as defined above, and information centers that work to improve the services delivered to the clientele of these libraries; and
    • A library association that exists on a permanent basis, serves libraries or library professionals on a national, regional, state, or local level, and engages in activities designed to advance the well-being of libraries and the library profession.

    Deadline Details

    Preliminary proposals are to be submitted by September 23, 2022. Successful applicants are then invited to submit a full proposal by March 17, 2023. A similar application cycle is anticipated annually. 

    Award Details

    For FY23 up to $8,000,000 is available in funding for an anticipated 37 awards. the average award is $258,425.

    Individual awards vary based on program area:

    • Planning Grants: $50,000 to $150,000. The period of performance for a Planning project is one to two years. No cost share is required.
    • Forum Grants: $50,000 to $150,000. The period of performance for a Forum project is one to two years. No cost share is required.
    • Implementation Grants: $50,000 to $1,000,000. The period of performance for an Implementation project is one to three years. (Implementation awards of more than $249,999 in IMLS funds require at least 1:1 cost share from non-federal sources).
    • Applied Research Grants: $50,000 to $750,000. The period of performance for an Applied Research project is one to three years. No cost share is required.

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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