Deadline: Feb. 2, 2012
Amount: $10,000 – $25,000
Awarding institution: Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries and Museums are a special funding opportunity within the IMLS National Leadership Grants program. These small grants encourage libraries, museums, 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 museums serve their communities.
Successful proposals will address problems, challenges, or needs of broad relevance to libraries, museums, 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 Grants 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, archives, and/or museums, 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, archives, and/or museums. 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, archives, and/or museums. 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. Museums that fulfill the general criteria for museums may apply. Public or private nonprofit agencies, organizations, or associations that engage in activities designed to advance museums and the museum profession may also apply. In addition, institutions of higher education, including public and nonprofit universities, are eligible.
For more information: http://www.imls.gov/applicants/detail.aspx?GrantId=19