Category Archives: Grants

ARPA Report – Ashland Public Library

Ashland Public Library used ARPA funds to make improvements to the library!

The library turned off their drinking fountains due to COVID-19 in an effort to prevent the spread. Using money from the ARPA grant, the library was able to install a bottle filler to the drinking fountains. This allowed kids, patrons, and the public to access the water when needed.

The recent pandemic shed a light on how important WiFi access is to the community. Children would sit by the windows in order to gain access when the library was closed. The library was able to purchase new access points to give patrons higher speeds inside and outside the library.

COVID-19 hit the active seniors in the community hard. Isolation and limited contact led to disconnect in community activities. As vaccination rates increased, the library offered a free exercise program geared toward seniors. The GeriFit program was a great fit for the community and helped the senior population to get back out and strengthen their muscles.

Along with the ARPA Youth for Excellence Grant, Ashland Public Library purchased STEM equipment for the new group of home school students. The library purchased iPads along with Sphero to teach computer coding. For younger patrons, the library bought two option of the Go Robot Mouse to spark learning of how coding works.

The pandemic showed that Ashland Public Library is an important piece of its community. Every upgrade or new purchase, has had positive results. Patrons have shown their appreciation for all the opportunities available through the library to help the community continue to move forward.

_________________________________________________________________________________

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is result of the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress. The Nebraska Library Commission received a one-time award of $2,422,166. A portion of this funding has been allocated for three projects:Formula based grant program, NLC Library Improvement Grants, and NLC Youth Grants for Excellence.

For more information about the 2021 American Rescue Plan, visit www.nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/arpa/index.aspx

Posted in General, Grants, Library Management, Programming, Public Relations, Technology, Youth Services | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

AARP Community Challenge Grants

AARP is currently soliciting applications for 2023 funding for quick-action projects that can help your community become more livable for all residents, especially those age 50 and over.

Applications are due by March 15, 2023, 5:00 p.m. ET, and all projects must be completed by November 30, 2023. Applications must be submitted through http://www.aarp.org/communitychallenge , where you will also find full details about the grant program.

These grants are open to the following types of organizations: 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits; Government entities; Other types of organizations considered on a case-by-case basis. AARP Community Challenge grants may be used to support three project types: Permanent physical improvements in the community; Temporary demonstrations that lead to long-term change, and New, innovative programming pilots or services.

Examples of previously funded Community Challenge Projects include:

  • Hazen (ND) Public Library: The library basement where there are meeting rooms and where a local arts association rents space was inaccessible and underutilized for community meetings. The library used grant funds to install two chair lifts in the two stairwells to ensure residents can safely attend community meetings at the library.
  • Avoca (IA) Public Library: The AARP Community Challenge grant funded the city’s new “music park” outside of the public library. The location’s oversized, weather-proof instruments require neither training nor talent to play. During the summer, Avoca closes its main street for a weekly farmer’s market. The instruments provide a stay and play area that encourages people to spend time creating music outdoors and enjoy the downtown.

In 2023, the AARP Community Challenge is accepting applications across three different grant opportunities, two of which are new this year. Organizations are eligible to apply for more than one grant opportunity and may submit multiple applications.

1. Flagship Grants

Flagship Grants continue the successful Community Challenge grant program, first launched in 2017. Flagship Grants have ranged from several hundred dollars ($500) for smaller, short-term activities to tens of thousands of dollars ($50,000) for larger projects. These grants offer a broad opportunity for communities to apply for funding across several project categories:

  • Public Places
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
  • Digital Connections
  • Community Resilience
  • Civic Engagement
  • Community Health and
  • Economic Empowerment

2. NEW! Capacity-Building Microgrants

By combining $2,500 grants with additional resources — such as webinars, AARP Livable Communities publications, cohort learning opportunities, and/or up to two hours of one-on-one coaching with leading national organizations — this new grant opportunity will benefit residents (especially those age 50 or older) in the following categories:

3. NEW! Demonstration Grants

Demonstration Grants are designed to encourage innovative replication of promising local efforts, drawn from previous projects from the Flagship Grants in Housing and Transportation. This new grant opportunity will benefit residents (especially those age 50 and older) by:

  • Advancing solutions that build capacity towards transportation systems change. This opportunity for grant funding of $30,000 to $50,000 per project is sponsored by Toyota Motor North America.
  • Implementing accessory dwelling unit (ADU) design competitions that increase public understanding of this housing option and encourage the implementation of ADU supportive policies. This opportunity for grant funding will provide $10,000 to $15,000 per project.

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

Posted in Grants, Programming | Leave a comment

NEA 2023 Grant Opportunities Now Available

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is pleased to announce that grant guidelines and application materials are now available for Challenge America and Grants for Arts Projects (GAP). These grants to organizations support specific projects in any part of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. jurisdictions. See below for additional information and access the full guidelines at arts.gov/grants.  

Eligible applicants include nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) U.S. organizations, units of state or local government, and federally recognized tribal communities or tribes. Eligible organizations that received American Rescue Plan (ARP) or CARES funding are also eligible to apply to Challenge America or GAP. Applicants may be arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies (school districts), and other organizations that can help advance the NEA’s goals.

Challenge America

Challenge America offers support primarily to small organizations for projects in all artistic disciplines to reach historically underserved groups/communities that have rich and dynamic cultural identities. Challenge America may be a good entry point for organizations that are new to applying for federal funding. The category features an abbreviated application, a robust structure of technical assistance, and grants for a set amount of $10,000. 

Grants require a cost share/match of $10,000 consisting of cash and/or in-kind contributions. Total project costs must be at least $20,000 or greater.

Application Deadline: April 27, 2023 for projects taking place beginning in 2024. 

Grants for Arts Projects 

Grants for Arts Projects is the NEA’s largest grant program for organizations, providing expansive funding opportunities for communities across the nation in a wide range of artistic disciplines. Through project-based funding, the program supports opportunities for public engagement with the arts and arts education, for the integration of the arts with strategies promoting the health and well-being of people and communities, and for the improvement of overall capacity and capabilities within the arts sector.

This grants program also welcomes projects that engage with individuals whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, race or ethnicity, economics, or disability. 

In recognition of the United States of America’s 250th anniversary in 2026, the NEA also welcomes arts projects that educate and engage communities in dialogue about the past, present, and future of our nation.

Cost share/matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. Designated local arts agencies that are eligible to subgrant may request from $30,000 to $150,000 for subgranting projects. A minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount is required. 

Application Deadlines: February 9 and July 6, 2023 for projects taking place beginning in 2024. 

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

Posted in Grants, Programming | Leave a comment

Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grants Application Cycle is Open

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is currently accepting grant applications for programs aimed at enhancing Adult, Family, and Summer Reading Literacy programs. The Foundation will also accept applications for its Youth Literacy grant program starting on March 9, 2023.

The application deadline for Adult, Family, and Summer Reading Literacy Grant applications is February 16, 2023. Interested applicants may find eligibility information and apply by visiting the Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grant Programs website.

To be eligible for a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, your organization must be a nonprofit organization as determined by the IRS, a public library, school or college providing direct literacy services within a state that Dollar General Corporation operates in and is within 15 miles of a Dollar General store. Other eligibility requirements are specific to each grant type and can be found within the grants themselves.

For the Adult and Family literacy grant programs, the maximum grant amount is up to $10,000. The Summer Reading maximum is $3,000 and the Youth Literacy grant is $4,000. Applying for a grant does not guarantee that amount due to the large volume of requests we receive.

Adult Literacy Grants (Grant Application deadline: February 16, 2023)
Funding is awarded to organizations that provide direct services to adults in need of literacy assistance in one of the following areas:

  • Adult basic education
  • GED or high school equivalency preparation
  • English language acquisition

Family Literacy Grants (Grant Application deadline: February 16, 2023)
Funding is awarded to nonprofit organizations who support the whole family in literacy, providing:

  • Adult education instruction
  • Children’s education
  • Parent and Child Together Time (PACT)

Summer Reading Grants (Grant Application deadline: February 16, 2023)
Local nonprofit organizations, schools, and libraries can receive funding to support the creation or expansion of summer reading programs that meet the following criteria:

  • Target pre-K to 12th grade students who are new readers
  • Target below grade level readers
  • Assist readers with learning disabilities

Youth Literacy Grants (Grant Applications will be available on March 9, 2023. Application deadline: April 27, 2023)
Schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations who help students that are below grade level or having trouble reading may apply with funding provided to assist in the following areas:

  • Implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs
  • Purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives
  • Purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs

Posted in Books & Reading, Grants, Programming, Youth Services | Leave a comment

ARPA Report – Falls City Library & Arts Center

Falls City Library & Arts Center provided social distanced computer use to its patrons with funds granted through the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act!

The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act provided financial support so libraries could meet the needs of their communities. The grant covered cost of equipment, technology, and other materials.

The computer lab at Falls City Library & Arts Center has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic due to the computers being side by side. Patrons utilize the computers to access the internet for digital content, find resources to support educational pursuits, healthcare research, employment opportunities, and personal enjoyment. It serves the needs of individuals who do not have internet access in their home.

Money from the ARPA grant allowed Falls City Library & Arts Center to offer social distanced computer use. 14 Chromebooks were purchased so that patrons can use them anywhere in the facility.

The Library staff met their goal to provide computer access without time limits for patrons online access and no waiting for use since 2007.

Patrons have expressed their gratitude for being able to access the internet and equipment to print, fax and scan documents.

Patrons have also shown appreciation for assistance with computer needs.

_________________________________________________________________________________

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is result of the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress. The Nebraska Library Commission received a one-time award of $2,422,166. A portion of this funding has been allocated for three projects: Formula based grant program, NLC Library Improvement Grants, and NLC Youth Grants for Excellence.

For more information about the 2021 American Rescue Plan, visit www.nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/arpa/index.aspx

Posted in General, Grants, Library Management, Programming, Public Relations, Technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

2023 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT) of ALA and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation are pleased to accept applications for the 2023 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries.

The application deadline is Sunday February 12, 2023.

Through these grants the GNCRT and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation seek to continue to encourage public awareness about the rise and importance of graphic literature and to honor the legacy and creative excellence of Will Eisner. For a career that spanned nearly eight decades — from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics — Will Eisner is recognized as the “Champion of the Graphic Novel.”

The objective of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries is to facilitate library-generated programs and services that will promote graphic novels to library patrons and to the local community. Three Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries are given annually – two Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grants will provide support to two libraries that would like to expand its existing graphic novel services and programs; one Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant will provide support to a library for the initiation of a graphic novel service, program or initiative.

The applying librarian or their institution must be an ALA Member to be eligible and the grants are open to libraries across North America, including Canada and Mexico.

The application and information about the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries can be found on the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table Eisner Grants page. Interested applicants will find resources and examples on the Eisner Grants FAQ page to help guide them through the process of writing their grant applications. For any inquiries, please contact ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Round Table staff liaison Tina Coleman at ccoleman@ala.org.

Will Eisner (1917-2005) was an acclaimed American comics writer, artist, teacher, and entrepreneur.  He is considered one of the most important contributors to the development of sequential art (a term he coined) and is known for the cartooning studio he founded; for his highly influential comic series, The Spirit; for his use of comics as an instructional medium; for his leading role in establishing the graphic novel as a form of literature with his 1978 groundbreaking graphic novel, A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories; for his 20 years of teaching at the School of Visual Arts, leading to his three textbooks. In a career that spanned nearly seven decades—from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics—Will Eisner was truly the “Father of the Graphic Novel.”

Each winning library will receive a grant award of $4,000 to support initiatives that align with the objective of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries.  The grant award will consist of the following: 

  • $2,000 grant to purchase graphic novels from the distributor-partner (current partner is Diamond Comics Distributors),
  • $1,000 grant to host a graphic novel-themed event at a library or another community location, and
  • $1,000 grant to attend the ALA Annual Conference to receive their grant money.  This grant can be used towards any of the following: conference registration, transportation, lodging and food.

In addition, from the book publishers and the Eisner Foundation, the winning libraries will also receive the following graphic novels, valued at approximately $3,000:

  • The Will Eisner Library: A graphic novel collection of Will Eisner’s work and biographies about Will Eisner* (comprising approximately 75 books)
  • A selection of the winning titles from the current year’s Will Eisner Awards* at Comic-Con International (comprising approximately 100 books).

* Please note that some of the titles in these collections are of a mature nature. 

Chosen Grant applicants must agree to take responsibility for organizing a recognition ceremony of their grant in their library.

Posted in Books & Reading, Grants, Programming | Leave a comment

Applications Now Open for NEA Big Read Grants

Washington, DC—Applications are now open for grants to support NEA Big Read projects between September 2023 and June 2024. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read supports community reading programs each designed around a single NEA Big Read book selection with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community. Matching grants range from $5,000 to $20,000 each.

The Intent to Apply deadline is Wednesday, January 18, 2023. Visit Arts Midwest’s website for complete grant guidelines and to apply.

For their project, applicants will choose one of 15 books representing a diverse range of contemporary themes, voices, and perspectives. More information on the books and authors, as well as discussion questions and videos, are available at https://www.arts.gov/initiatives/nea-big-read

The NEA Big Read welcomes applications from a variety of eligible organizations, including first-time applicants; organizations serving communities of all sizes, including rural and urban areas; and organizations with small, medium or large operating budgets. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to: 

  • Arts centers, arts councils, and arts organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Libraries and literary centers
  • Community service organizations, environmental organizations, and faith-based organizations
  • Museums and historical societies
  • School districts and local education agencies
  • Tribal governments and non-profits

Applicant organizations will collaborate with a broad range of partners—including a community library if the applicant itself is not a library—to offer events and activities that engage the whole community.

Potential applicants may sign up for 15-minute consultations with Arts Midwest staff and review sample applications—access the guidelines for more details. Stories about past NEA Big Read projects can be found on Arts Midwest’s website.

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

Posted in Books & Reading, Grants | Leave a comment

FINRA Foundation Library Grants Program

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The FINRA Foundation is now accepting applications for grants up to $50,000 to support public and academic libraries in their efforts to bolster financial education and financial inclusion at the community level. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2023.

To download the application form and receive instructions on how to apply, visit the FINRA Foundation Library Grants website.

This grant program supports public libraries and academic libraries in their efforts to meet financial and/or investor education needs at the community level by providing high-quality education, services, and resources. The program also aims to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion in access to personal finance education and information.

Eligibility to apply for this grant is limited to U.S. public libraries and academic libraries at U.S. state or nonprofit higher education institutions. This is a competitive grant program. Submission of a grant application does not guarantee that a grant will be awarded.

About the FINRA Foundation

Established in 2003 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation empowers underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout life. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through educational programs and research that help consumers achieve their financial goals and that protect them in a complex and dynamic world. FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, regulates all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity.

Posted in Education & Training, Grants, Programming | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

ALA invites applications for fourth annual Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply for the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, an annual award supporting innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries.

Applications will be accepted between December 1, 2022, and February 1, 2023. View the full award guidelines and apply online at www.ala.org/LTCEG.

The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant recognizes, promotes and supports innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries. It will provide two grants of $2,000 for a school, public, academic, tribal or special library to expand its community engagement efforts.

Libraries are invited to apply by designing and outlining activities for a library-led community engagement project. Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with community members – be they library patrons, residents, faculty, students, or local organizations – to address issues for the betterment of the community.

Each year, the grant will focus on supporting a community engagement project with a specific theme.For the 2022–2023 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a community engagement project that focuses on connection and reconnection within your community. Your project can be a collaboration with an audience that has not frequented your library in the past or an audience that has not used the library recently. Libraries should work collaboratively with community members and at least one partner organization to develop a project that addresses a local issue and builds upon community assets.

Visit the grant guidelines for more information.

Project activities to be covered by the grant may include developing community engagement programs and services; partnering with a community agency that builds the capacity of the community to address an important concern/issue; or creating a program or event that connects the library to a community-identified aspiration or concern.

ALA announced the creation of the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant in 2019, raising a total of $70,000 from 130 individuals. The initiative was made possible by a matching grant from former ALA president and longtime generous supporter Nancy Kranich.

Last year’s grant was won by the Metropolitan College of New York for their Black Maternal Health Initiative and the Sarah Hightower Regional Library System in Georgia for the Coming Home: Essential Resources for Re-Entering Citizens project.

The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant is part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC), ALA’s community engagement initiative. Since 2014, LTC has reimagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types, from across the country, have utilized the free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a safe space for residents to come together to discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff.

LTC is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office. To stay informed about future grants and awards offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office, sign up for the Programming Librarian e-newsletter.

Posted in Grants, Library Management, Programming, Public Relations | Tagged | Leave a comment

Apply for programming support with the third annual ALA Peggy Barber Tribute Grant

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply for the third annual Peggy Barber Tribute Grant, a programming grant named after the transformative ALA leader responsible for the creation of National Library Week and the Celebrity READ series.

The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant is an annual grant that recognizes, promotes, and supports meaningful programs in libraries that have limited and/or no access to budgetary support for programming. This grant aims to help ease budget challenges by annually awarding three libraries $2,500 to support a proposed program, program series, or programming effort.

Applications for the award will be accepted from December 1, 2022, to February 1, 2023. Read the grant guidelines and apply online.

Each year, the grant will focus on supporting a specific type of library programming. For the 2022–2023 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a grant to support programming related to increasing access for groups that are identified as undeserved or new library users in the community. Some example proposals could include increasing access to library resources for homebound seniors, media literacy focused programming and kits for patrons re-entering society to learn about local resources.

All library types — including public, academic, K-12, tribal and special libraries — in the U.S. or U.S. territories are eligible. Applicants must have a personal or institutional membership with either the American Library Association OR the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

Peggy Barber served as ALA’s associate executive director of communications from 1970 to 2000. In that role, she established ALA’s Public Information Office, Public Programs Office and the ALA Graphics department. After leaving ALA, she was a principal consultant with Library Communication Strategies and served as co-president of Friends of Libraries USA, now known as United for Libraries. She passed away in August 2019.

The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant was created with donations from Barber’s friends and colleagues. To support the grant, make a contribution to the Peggy Barber tribute fund within ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund.

To stay informed about future grants and awards offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office, sign up for the Programming Librarian e-newsletter.

Posted in Grants, Library Management, Programming, Public Relations | Tagged | Leave a comment

Applications Open: ARSL & Penguin Random House Grants for Rural & Small Libraries

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

Applications for the 2022 Association for Rural & Small Libraries/Penguin Random House Grants for Rural & Small Libraries are now open!

Through the generosity of Penguin Random House, ARSL is pleased to announce this grant opportunity for small, rural libraries nationwide! This grant is available to libraries that meet both the IMLS definition for small libraries (a service population of 25,000 or fewer) and the definition for rural libraries (libraries located 5 or more miles from the nearest town of 25k or more).

Applicants may request:

One (1) monetary grant in support of a community-oriented project for up to $1,000.
          or
An in-kind grant donation of up to $1,000 in equivalent value to support a circulating collection in your library.

Deadline for applications is December 12, 2022.
Notifications of funding decision will be sent to applicants by January 27, 2023.
Funded projects must be completed by December 31, 2023.
Project reports must be submitted by February 1, 2024.

The program will award grants to libraries that demonstrate a true need. Monetary grants are not limited to literacy and may be used for everything from library programming and books to resources like hotspots that help community members access important information. Library seeking support for digital collections should request a monetary grant.

View the Grant FAQ and Apply for the Grant online. Contact the ARSL Office with any questions at info@arsl.org

Posted in Grants, Library Management, Programming, Technology, Youth Services | Leave a comment

Apply now for Science Kits for Public Libraries (SKPL) Grants

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) – Region 4’s Science Kits for Public Libraries (SKPL) Grant program is offering up to $2,000 in funding to public libraries to establish a new circulating science kits collection. Open to public libraries that serve geographic areas inside or partially inside the IEEE-Region 4 – this includes portions of Nebraska – see the green-shaded area of this map: IEEE Regions in the USA

The Application deadline is January 16, 2023. Those libraries which have previously applied for the grant but did not receive funding are invited to submit again.

Public Libraries have a long tradition of building stronger communities by providing life-long learning opportunities for children and teens. The SKPL Team is honored to have the opportunity to enrich the services that public libraries offer. SKPL enables children, parents, and teachers the chance to borrow library kits for hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning at home or in classroom.

Visit the SKPL website, https://r4.ieee.org/skpl/ for the application form and submission details.

Region 4, Science Kits for Public Libraries (SKPL) organization is a volunteer-based organization affiliated with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). SKPL believes all children – regardless of race, gender, financial condition, or home environment – should have access to high-quality, hands-on STEM learning experiences. By making catalyst grants available to public libraries, we empower them to start their own science kit collections that are free and accessible to the public.

Posted in Grants, Technology, Youth Services | Leave a comment

Kreutz Bennett Fund Leaves $700,000 Impact

Since 2012, the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund, an affiliated fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation, has granted over $700,000 to Nebraska’s small-town public libraries through a term endowment established by the late Shirley Kreutz Bennett, a lifelong educator originally from Harvard, Nebraska.

Kreutz Bennett’s estate gift has helped dozens of Nebraska libraries in communities with populations under 3,000 achieve a margin of excellence over the last 11 years. The Fund spent the remainder of the gift’s principal in 2022, marking over a decade of success and countless lives impacted by her generosity.

Facilities Grants supported construction of new or expanded library buildings and renovation or restoration work, Enhancement Grants allowed for improvements in library services, and Planning for Accreditation Grants covered activities and expenses associated with earning Public Library Accreditation from the Nebraska Library Commission.

“The reason she focused on that is because she did a lot of traveling and experiencing the world,” said NCF’s Kristine Gale. “She felt libraries were a way for rural Nebraskans to learn and experience things they may not otherwise be able to experience. Shirley would feel amazing about the impact she made.”

In this final year, requests were received for more than what was left in the fund, so the Nebraska Library Commission contributed American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to help cover some of the grants. As a result, all applications submitted in 2022 were funded.

The Nebraska Community Foundation and the Nebraska Library Commission screened applicants for eligibility and provided guidance for those invited to submit proposals. Each year, the Kreutz Bennett Donor- Advised Fund advisory committee, made up of Kreutz Bennett’s nieces and nephews, reviewed applications and awarded funding to match every local dollar raised.

In 2022, the final Kreutz Bennett Fund Grants were awarded to the following thirteen libraries:

  • Agnes Robinson Waterloo Public Library, $14,427: outdoor learning space
  • Butler Memorial Library, Cambridge, $10,000: renovations
  • Clarkson Public Library, $3,000: children’s activity wall
  • Davenport Public Library, $750: planning for accreditation activities 
  • Lied Lincoln Township Library, $13,000: outdoor learning space
  • Lied Randolph Public Library, $3,800: musical outdoor playground
  • Logan County Public Library, Stapleton, $1,000: OverDrive, Summer Reading Program supplies
  • Maltman Memorial Public Library, Wood River, $4,000: purchase Golden Sower and Newbery Award children’s books
  • Mead Public Library, $2,000: collection development
  • Palmyra Memorial Library, $15,080: architectural firm site survey and conceptual designs for a new library building
  • Scotia Public Library, $4,000: Story Time kits
  • Sutherland Public Library, $5,041: computers, tables, chairs
  • Valparaiso Public Library, $5,000: replace flooring
Posted in Grants | Leave a comment

Apply now for ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities Grant: Accessible Small and Rural Communities

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The American Library Association invites applications from small and rural libraries for the Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Accessible Small and Rural Communities grant.

Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities will offer more than $7 million in grants to small and rural libraries to increase the accessibility of facilities, services, and programs to better serve people with disabilities. ALA is now accepting applications for grants to be distributed over the next three years ranging from $10,000 to $20,000.

Applications will be accepted from November 1, 2022 through February 28, 2023 at https://www.ala.org/tools/librariestransform/libraries-transforming-communities/access

Interested applicants are encouraged to register for a free Pre-Application Webinar to be held on November 8, 2022 at 1pm CT.

The opportunity is open to any type of library in the U.S. and U.S. territories that serves a small and rural community – to be eligible, a library must have a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and be located at least five miles from an urbanized area (town/city with a population of 25,000 or greater).

Participating libraries will first conduct community input-gathering sessions to assure that their work aligns with local needs. Libraries will be required to identify the primary audience they are hoping to reach (e.g., homebound seniors, children with autism, Deaf community members) and facilitate a community conversation with the impacted populations in order to guide improvement of the library’s services. Grantees would then use the funds to create services or improve their facilities based on the needs identified by their audience.

Selected libraries will receive $10,000 or $20,000 to support costs related to their community engagement project; virtual training to assist project directors in developing their community engagement, facilitation, and disability service skills; a suite of online resources developed to support local programs; and technical and project support from the ALA Public Programs Office throughout the grant term.

Questions? Contact the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office staff at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or publicprograms@ala.org

Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities is part of ALA’s longtime commitment to preparing library workers for the expanding role of libraries. The initiative is offered in partnership with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL). It is supported by a private donor.

Posted in Grants, Library Management | Leave a comment

Apply for the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Grant

For more grants like this one, check the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

DALLAS, TEXAS; October 5, 2022 — Today, the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries opened the application for grants to support school libraries, with the goal of encouraging all students to develop a love of reading and learning. Since its inception in 2002, the Laura Bush Foundation has awarded more than $19.5 million to over 3,300 schools across the country. 

Grant applications are open to public, private, parochial, magnet, and charter schools that have a school library. Public schools must have a Title 1 designation and private schools must have at least 50% of the student population qualify for financial aid to be eligible.  Applications will remain open until November 30, 2022. Visit www.bushcenter.org/lbf to learn more and apply. 

In the 2021-2022 grant cycle, the Laura Bush Foundation awarded $1.5 million in grants to 300 school libraries across 44 states. Many librarians used the funds to update their library collections by adding more dual language titles and books that showcase a wide range of stories and perspectives. 

The Laura Bush Foundation is managed as a restricted fund at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.  More information can be found at www.bushcenter.org

George W. Bush Institute

The George W. Bush Institute is a solution-oriented nonpartisan policy organization focused on ensuring opportunity for all, strengthening democracy, and advancing free societies. Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the Bush Institute is rooted in compassionate conservative values and committed to creating positive, meaningful, and lasting change at home and abroad. We utilize our unique platform and convening power to advance solutions to national and global issues of the day. Learn more at www.bushcenter.org

Posted in Books & Reading, Grants, Youth Services | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: NLC Grants for 2023

Do you have a program or project you would like to see funded? Learn how to apply for the ‘NLC Grants for 2023’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, October 19 at 10am CT.

The Nebraska Library Commission is making funding available for four grants for 2023: Continuing Education & Training, Internship, Library Improvement, and Youth Grants for Excellence.

Grant applications for all 2023 NLC grants are due November 18, 2022. Don’t let your library miss out on these opportunities!

Join Christa Porter, Sally Snyder, and Holli Duggan, from the Nebraska Library Commission’s Library Development Team, as they provide an overview of the grants, including eligibility requirements and grant guidelines, the application process and grant review, timelines and deadlines. They will also share some tips on writing effective grants.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Oct. 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech – WordPress Chatbots: No Code Tools & Guides
  • Nov. 9 – Reach Your Military-Affiliated Patrons with the Libraries & Veterans Toolkit

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

Posted in Education & Training, Grants, Library Management, Now hiring @ your library, Programming, Technology, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

2023 NLC Grants are Open for Applications

Do you have an idea for a program or project you would like to see funded?

The Nebraska Library Commission has made funding available for four grants for 2023: Continuing Education & Training, Internship, Library Improvement, and Youth Grants for Excellence.

Applications are being accepted for all NLC grants right now! Don’t let your library miss out on these opportunities!

Grant applications for all 2023 NLC grants are due November 18, 2022.

For more information about these grants, register for the October 19 NCompass Live webinar, NLC Grants for 2023.

Continuing Education & Training grants help assist Nebraska libraries to improve the library services provided to their communities through continuing education and training for their library personnel and supporters. Successful applications will show how the continuing education and/or training proposed will support the library’s mission. There will be two rounds of CE Grants. The first fall grants will open in September and applications will be accepted for events/projects/classes that must be completed before June 30, 2023. The second spring round will open in March and applications will be accepted for events/projects/classes that begin after July 1, 2023.

Internship grants work to introduce high school and college students to the varied and exciting work of Nebraska libraries. The internships are intended to function as a recruitment tool, helping the student to view the library as a viable career opportunity while providing the public library with the finances to provide stipends to the student interns.

Library Improvement grants facilitate growth and development of library programs and services in Nebraska public and institutional libraries, by supplementing local funding with federal funds designated for these purposes.

Youth Grants for Excellence makes funding available specifically for innovative projects for children and young adults in accredited public libraries and state-run institutional libraries in Nebraska. The program is designed to encourage creative thinking, risk-taking, and new approaches to address problems and needs of children and young adults in your community.

Posted in Education & Training, Grants, Library Management, Now hiring @ your library, Programming, Technology, Youth Services | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2023

The Call for Speakers for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2023 is now open!

This free one-day online conference is tailored for librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better!

Small libraries of all types – public, academic, school, museum, special, etc. – are encouraged to submit a proposal. We’re looking for seven 50-minute presentations and four 10-minute “lightning round” presentations.

Do you offer a service or program at your small library that other librarians might like to hear about? Have you implemented a new (or old) technology, hosted an event, partnered with others in your community, or just done something really cool? The Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference gives you the opportunity to share what you’ve done, while learning what your colleagues in other small libraries are doing.

Here are some possible topics to get you thinking:

  • Unique Libraries
  • Special Collections
  • New buildings
  • Fundraising
  • Improved Workflows
  • Staff Development
  • Advocacy Efforts
  • Community Partnerships
  • That great thing you’re doing at your library!

Submit your proposal by Friday, December 16, 2022.

Speakers from libraries serving fewer than 10,000 people will be preferred, but presentations from libraries with larger service populations will be considered.

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2023 will be held on Friday, February 24, 2023 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Speakers will present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.

This conference is organized and hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission and is co-sponsored by the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, Grants, Information Resources, Library Management, Preservation, Programming, Public Relations, Technology, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

T-Mobile Hometown Grants Program for Small Towns

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

T-Mobile Hometown Grants is a $25 million, five-year initiative to support the people and organizations who help small towns across America thrive and grow by providing funding to kickstart important new community development projects.

Hometown Grants of up to $50,000 are given every quarter to up to 25 small towns to help fund projects to build, rebuild, or refresh community spaces that help foster local connections in your town, such as the public library, the town square pavilion, a historic building, an outdoor park, or a ball field.

Elected leaders, town managers/employees, and nonprofit leaders in small towns with populations of less than 50,000 are eligible and encouraged to apply online on the Hometown Grants website.

To select Hometown Grant recipients, T-Mobile works with Main Street America and Smart Growth America, two organizations that have decades of experience helping build stronger, more prosperous small towns and rural communities. Together, they assess applications from small towns based on level of detail and completeness, potential community impact, project viability and other factors.

Posted in Grants | Leave a comment

ARPA Report – Kearney Public Library

With funds granted through the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Kearney Public Library chose to enhance its MakerSpace!

Kearney Public Library purchased two Warrior Butcher Block tables to give its patrons more space to be able to create and complete projects. The library also purchased a Glowforge Laser Cutter. This piece of equipment can cut wood, glass, etc. As time goes on, library staff hopes to learn more about what materials work with the laser cutter and be able to expand the types of things that their patrons can make.

In addition to the tables and the laser cutter, the library also purchased an HP DesignJet z9+ 44″ PostScript Printer. This printer allows staff and patrons to print large signs, banners, maps and more! Staff utilized the printer to make banners to post inside and outside the library as well as unique library displays.

Patrons showed great interest in these new pieces of equipment and were excited about what the library could offer. One woman utilized the MakerSpace to make Christmas presents for her family. Once library staff learned how to operate the new equipment, they held training sessions for patrons. These sessions were both in group settings as well as 1-on-1.

These new pieces of equipment are great additions to Kearney Public Library. They provide patrons with access to technology that they could not afford on their own. Library staff can utilize them for new programming. As patrons make use of this new technology, staff is able to plan for more useful technology purchases in the future.

_________________________________________________________________________________

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is result of the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress. The Nebraska Library Commission received a one-time award of $2,422,166. A portion of this funding has been allocated for three projects:Formula based grant program, NLC Library Improvement Grants, and NLC Youth Grants for Excellence.

For more information about the 2021 American Rescue Plan, visit www.nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/arpa/index.aspx

Posted in General, Grants, Library Management, Public Relations | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment