Funding Alert! Native American Library Services Basic Grants

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Attention Native American tribal organizations! Does your entity operate an existing library? If so, you may be eligible for this Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant program. The Native American Library Services Basic Grant program supports Native American tribes in maintaining and enhancing core library services within their communities. These are non-competitive grant awards that fund a variety of allowable expenses. Applications to this program are due March 1, 2022.

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants are federally recognized Native American tribal governments that can document the operation of an existing library. To meet this requirement, the library must offer regularly scheduled hours, staff, and materials available for library users. Libraries, schools, tribal colleges, and departments of education are not eligible to serve as lead applicants, but they may be involved in the proposed project as a partner. For example, a staff member of a tribal college may serve as a project director, if the lead applicant is a tribal government agency.

What are the program details?

The Native American Library Services Basic Grant program supports two overall goals:

  1. Improve services for learning and accessing information to support community needs, such as education, workforce development, economic and business development, health information, and literacy skills (e.g., critical thinking, digital literacy, financial literacy, etc.). Objectives include the acquisition of materials, supplies, equipment, and other needs to support direct services, as well as engaging consultants or other service providers for assessments, tutoring, skill-building, and more.
  2. Enhance the skills of library staff and leadership through training, continuing education, and professional development. Objectives include providing staff training (e.g., courses, workshops, etc.) and opportunities for staff to participate in professional conferences.

Grant awards under this program range from $6,000 to $10,000 with no cost share/match required. Based on previous years, IMLS estimates the average award at $9,600. Examples of allowable expenses include personnel, travel, and registration expenses related to staff training and professional development; supplies, materials, software, furnishings, technology, and other equipment related to library services; afterschool tutoring services; program evaluation; internet access, and more. The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) includes a full list of allowable and unallowable costs on pages 10-11. Note that these grants do not support indirect costs.

IMLS expects to award 172 grants under this program. One-year project periods must begin on August 1, 2022.

What makes a project a good fit?

Proposals submitted under this solicitation should support the program goals and objectives described above, not only strengthening existing library services within Native American tribal communities but also helping them adopt new and emerging technologies. IMLS will evaluate the success of projects based on their effectiveness in achieving the intended results and their timeliness in completing tasks and activities within the proposed timeframe. Applicants must describe their methods for monitoring and assessing project performance using these two performance measures.

What if I am ready to apply? To move your application forward, take the following action steps ASAP:

What if I need help with this application?

Contact Assel Grant Services (AGS) today! Our team can help with all aspects of preparing the application and managing the grant if you are awarded. If you would like to discuss this possibility, please contact AGS as soon as possible. Rosie Brennan, Community Engagement Specialist will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you a quote for grant services.

What if I am not ready to apply this year?

Check out other opportunities to work with IMLS. The agency website provides resources regarding other upcoming grant programs, partnerships, and funding opportunities, as well as examples of previously funded projects.

How do I learn more about federal grant proposal writing, so my application is more likely to be successful?

AGS is excited to offer a Federal Grants Training Series in 2022! The series is designed to support nonprofit leaders and faculty at institutions of higher education before and during the application process. AGS also offers several on demand webinars on a variety of topics to support the full grant cycle. Check out our website to learn more and sign up for our training newsletter.

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