Opportunity number
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
National Leadership Grants for Libraries
Due date
September 24, 2021, for Preliminary Proposals; March 25, 2022 for Invited Full Proposals.
Community Development Digital Equity Education & Workforce Research
Project funding
Planning Grants (1yr): up to $100,000. National Forum Grants (1-3yrs): up to $150,000. Project & Research Grants (1-3yrs): up to $1,000,000.
Program funding
Funding size
Up to $5M

National Leadership Grants for Libraries

RFP Summary provided by the agency

National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG-L) support projects that enhance the quality of library and archives services nationwide by advancing theory and practice. Successful proposals will generate results such as new tools, research findings, models, services, practices, or alliances that will be widely used, adapted, scaled, or replicated to extend the benefits of federal investment. This work may be achieved through proposals at various stages of maturity (exploring, piloting, enhancing, or scaling). The benefits of projects funded in this program must not be limited to the local community but also advance national practice. Projects focused on preserving or providing access to a particular collection or set of collections cannot be supported. Similarly, the program cannot support the digitization of content or pre-digitization activities such as inventorying collections.

Each applicant should align their proposed project with one of these five program goals and one or more of the associated objectives.

  • Goal 1: Build the workforce and institutional capacity for managing the national information infrastructure and serving the information and education needs of the public.
  • Goal 2: Build the capacity of libraries and archives to lead and contribute to efforts that improve community well-being and strengthen civic engagement.
  • Goal 3: Improve the ability of libraries and archives to provide broad access to and use of information and collections with emphasis on collaboration to avoid duplication and maximize reach.
  • Goal 4: Strengthen the ability of libraries to provide services to affected communities in the event of an emergency or disaster.
  • Goal 5: Strengthen the ability of libraries, archives, and museums to work collaboratively for the benefit of the communities they serve.

Watch Fy2022 Program Webinar here

What is the mission and focus of the program: research, social, economic or others?

The goals focus on achieving positive public outcomes for communities and individuals; supporting the unique role of museums and libraries in preserving and providing access to collections and content; and promoting library, museum, and information service policies that ensure access to information for all Americans.

How do you submit to this opportunity?

Submit through Grants.gov

Who are the target applicants: cities, universities, companies, small business, nonprofits, or others?

Libraries, agencies, institutions of higher education, museums, and other entities that advance the museum and library fields

Example project(s) summaries from past RFPs:

Comprehensive list of awards here

Fiscal Year: 2018, Award: $249,908, City: Syracuse. Syracuse University and Indiana University, in collaboration with their university libraries and the Coulter Library of Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, seek to help make digital media collections in academic libraries more accessible to the deaf and hearing-impaired. The partners will design, implement, and evaluate an open source software platform to enhance the accessibility of digital media. The collaboration will 1) address the accessibility of audiovisual content by creating tools that provide cost-efficient captioning through Automatic Speech Recognition and crowdsourcing strategies; and 2) promote sharing and discovery of library resources by linking captioned videos with library collection catalogs. The project deliverables will be made available for use by academic libraries nationwide. https://www.imls.gov/grants/awarded/lg-70-18-0088-18

(ii) Example project(s) summaries from past RFPs:

Fiscal Year: 2018, Award: $568,672, City: Boston, State: MA. Simmons College, along with New America’s Open Technology Institute, and Internet2, will examine how advanced broadband measurement capabilities can support the infrastructure and services needed to respond to the digital demands of public library users across the U.S. The project will gather quantitative and qualitative data from public libraries across the country to 1) understand the broadband speeds and quality of service that public libraries receive; 2) assess how well broadband service and infrastructure are supporting their communities’ digital needs; 3) understand broadband network usage and capacity; and 4) increase their knowledge of networked services and connectivity needs. The project deliverables include an open source and replicable broadband measurement platform, training manual to help public librarians use that platform, and a final report on the project. https://www.imls.gov/grants/awarded/lg-71-18-0110-18

Questions or interested?

We’re here to help and advise.

Contact us