4 Grants You Can Apply for in August

ImageHere are four grant opportunities for which you can apply this month:

1. Children’s Book Project Grant for rural libraries

The Pilcrow Foundation, a national non-profit public charity, provides a 2-to-1 match to rural public libraries that receive a grant through its Children’s Book Project Program and contribute $200-$400 through a local sponsors for the purchase of up to $1200 worth (at retail value) of new, quality, hardcover children’s books.

  • What you'll receive if your library is selected: a list of approximately 500 quality hardcover children’s books from which Children’s Book Project Program grant recipients can select books best suited for their community; the book list includes award-winning and star-reviewed titles from educational and literary organizations. The booklist is divided into two groups based on recommended age and grade levels. Books in Group 1 are for emergent and beginning readers (birth to age 7; preschool to grade 2); books in Group 2 are for middle and intermediate readers (ages 8 to 12; grades 3 to 6).
  • Deadline: October 1, 2015
  • Criteria: public libraries that are located in a rural area, have a limited operating budget, have an active children’s department, and raise $200-$400 through a local sponsor. Libraries with total operating budgets of less than $50,000 will receive funding priority; however, town libraries with total operating budgets over $150,000 and county libraries with total operating budgets over $450,000 may also apply for grants.
  • Application form: go to the Pilcrow Foundation page to use either a fillable Adobe Acrobat PDF form or a MS Word form

Applications of qualifying libraries that do not receive a grant during this grant cycle due to limited funds will be reconsidered for a grant in the next grant cycle.

The Pilcrow Foundation is a non-profit organization that donates new, quality, hardcover children’s books to rural public libraries to promote the joy of reading.

2. Great Stories Club grant

The Great Stories Club gives at-risk, troubled youth the opportunity to read, reflect, and share ideas on topics that resonate with them.

Working with small groups of six to 10 teens, grantees will host reading and discussion events for each of three selected book titles. The titles - selected in consultation with librarian advisors and humanities scholars - are chosen to resonate with reluctant readers struggling with complex issues like incarceration, violence and poverty.

  • What you'll receive if your library is selected to participate:
    • 11 paperback copies of each of three book titles (10 to gift to participants; 1 for discussion leader/library collection); the titles are Feed by M.T. Anderson, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and March: Books One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
    • Travel and accommodation expenses paid for attendance at the project orientation workshop on November 16, 2015, in Chicago
    • Training through periodic project webinars, a program planning guide, and other online support materials
    • Online access to professionally designed, customizable and downloadable resources for use with program participants
    • Technical and programming support from the ALA Public Programs Office throughout the grant term
  • Deadline: September 15, 2015
  • Criteria: all types of U.S. libraries located within or working in partnership with an organization that serves at-risk youth (such as alternative high schools, juvenile justice organizations, homeless shelters, foster care agencies, teen parenting programs, residential treatment facilities and other nonprofit and community agencies) are eligible to apply. Programs must take place between January 1 and May 30, 2016.
  • Guidelines and resources for program planning
  • Application form: go to the Great Stories Club page to create your apply.ala.org profile; all you need to get started is an email address

Up to 50 grants will be awarded. The grant will be administered by ALA's Public Programs Office in partnership with the Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), including the Library Services for Youth in Custody and Library Services to the Incarcerated and Detained interest groups. The Great Stories Club has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Two additional rounds of Great Stories Club grants are expected to be awarded in 2016 and 2017 with the themes of "The Art of Change: Creation, Growth and Transformation" and "Nature vs. Nurture: Origins of Teen Violence and Suicide." Libraries may participate in more than one round but must apply separately for each.

First offered as a pilot in 2006, ALA's Great Stories Club has reached 670 libraries in 49 states and more than 30,000 young adults (ages 12 to 21).

3. STAR_Net Explore Traveling Exhibitions

... host one of three science- and technology-focused traveling exhibitions.

The exhibitions — which are ideal for small libraries, requiring only 200 square feet of display space — are designed to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning opportunities for all ages.

Star_net logoApplicants may apply for one of the following exhibitions:

  1. Explore Earth: Our Changing Planet will focus on local earth science topics — such as weather, the water cycle and ecosystem changes — as well as a global view of our changing planet. The primary message of the exhibition is that the global environment changes — and is changed by — the local environment of all host communities.
  2. Explore Space: Our Solar System and Beyond helps visitors answer the age-old questions: Where did we come from, and are we alone? The exhibition will teach audiences about our universe, including how stars and planetary systems form and the role that gravity plays in our universe.
  3. Explore Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference shows how engineering provides solutions to better meet human needs and develops sustainable innovations for the future. It features hands-on and multimedia components that allow exhibit visitors to interact with content in a dynamic way, encouraging new perspectives about engineers and their vital work.  

What you'll receive if your library is selected to participate:

  • one exhibition for an eight-week display period; shipping is free for grantees
  • a cash grant of $1,000 to cover the cost of public programming related to the exhibition
  • a publicity kit and media resources for a STEM @ My Library public engagement campaign
  • an orientation webinar that will include information about content and science themes, a presentation and demonstration of hands-on science activities by the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and presentations and interactive discussions about programming resources
  • periodic webinars on timely STEM topics to support programming in libraries
  • an Explore teacher guide, family guide and hands-on activities for different age groups to help libraries develop programs and support classroom visits
  • access to the STAR_Net Online Community and a national network of STEM-oriented organizations.

Grantees will be required to plan public programs related to the exhibition and to participate in the STAR_Net Online Community throughout the exhibition period. Each exhibition will travel to 13 or 14 public libraries from 2016 to 2018.

The Explore exhibitions are made possible through the support of the National Science Foundation. The exhibition and its educational support materials and outreach opportunities are part of the STAR (Science-Technology Activities and Resources) Library Education Network (STAR_Net), a hands-on learning program for libraries and their communities developed by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute. For more information, visit www.STARnetLibraries.org.

4. Best Small Library in America

... nominations [will be judged] based on key factors, including:

  • Creativity in developing services and programs that can be replicated by other libraries, including outreach to special populations
  • Innovation in introducing and supporting public access to computers and the Internet
  • Success in educating patrons in computer use, and measuring the results of technology usage
  • Use of technology to expand the reach of library services
  • Demonstrated community support
  • Sustained cooperation with other libraries
  • Partnerships with other agencies and businesses
  • Increase in library use, particularly by new users
  • Evidence of library’s role as community center

Keeping the factors above in mind, please tell us how, in the last two years, you have raised the profile of the library in your community, reached out to new users and remote users, and used technology to support and grow patron access to materials and information.

Award: $20,000 cash, and  membership & conference costs for two library representatives to attend the 2016 PLA conference in Denver. Two finalist libraries will be awarded $10,000 cash, and membership & conference costs for two library representatives to attend the 2016 PLA conference.
Deadline: September 9, 2015
Criteria: A single library serving a community with a population of 25,000 or less (latest Census) is eligible to apply
Guidelines and details: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/awards/best-small-library-in-america-award-nomination-guidelines/
Send your application:
  • via email to Meredith Schwartz at mschwartz@mediasourceinc.com (link sends e-mail) if it's in electronic format (Word or PDF)
  • via USPS mail to: Best Small Library in America Award / Library Journal / 123 William St. Suite 802 / New York, NY 10038

Use your nomination application to tell LJ how you've raised the profile of the library in your community, reached out to new users and remote users, and used technology to support and grow patron access to materials and information over the last two years,