Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Grants and In-Kind Support to USA Libraries for Community Engagement Projects and Resources

Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

Important Dates
Deadline: 12/11/23 11:59 PM CT Save

Grant Description
Grants of $10,000 and grants of $20,000 and in-kind support to small USA libraries in rural areas for community engagement projects and resources. In-kind support includes professional development, project and technical support, and online resources for library staff. The goal of the program is to help libraries better serve people with disabilities.

Through these grants, ALA strives to:

  • Increase the accessibility of library facilities, services, and programs for people with disabilities in small and rural communities.
  • Support libraries’ community engagement efforts by providing resources to help them to work with impacted populations to guide improvement of library services.

Project Design: Libraries should identify the primary audience they wish to better serve with their project. Primary audience should be people with disabilities, such as, but not limited to, people who are neurodivergent, people with physical disabilities, people with learning disabilities, etc. 

If selected for funding, the library will facilitate at least one community conversation with the identified primary audience to discuss accessibility in the community and library in order to collaboratively identify existing resources, needs/gaps, and priorities. Based on the conversation outcomes, the library will revise their preliminary project plan to align with the needs/priorities of their primary audience.

The library will then implement their finalized plan while sharing information about next steps and inviting feedback from the primary audience throughout the rest of the project. Methods for sharing out information may include, but are not limited to, social media posts, direct mailers, newsletters, etc.

LTC grant funds are restricted to project-related expenses. Eligible expenses may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Library staff time
  • Honoraria for conversation participants
  • Payment to project partners for reimbursement or direct funding of services and support provided (e.g., ASL interpreters, live captioners)
  • Facility upgrades (e.g., automatic door openers, accessible signage, sensory space equipment)
  • Tech equipment (e.g., Braillers, iPads, virtual meeting licenses, Assistive Technology)
  • Adaptive equipment (e.g., modified tools, sensory tools)
  • Books or other collection materials
  • Training for library staff (e.g., disability inclusion training)
  • Project supplies (e.g., markers, index cards, Post-its)
  • Promotion and publicity

Some disabilities are visible and some are not. Some examples of disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Autism
  • HIV
  • Cerebal palsy
  • Deafness or hearing loss
  • Blindness or low vision
  • Mobility disabilities such as those requiring the use of a wheelchair, walker, or cane
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Major depressive disorder

This list is not exhaustive, but serves as an example of some of the disabilities you can focus on for your target audience.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
- The opportunity is open to all types of libraries serving small and rural communities in the U.S. and U.S. territories.
- The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) defines libraries serving small and rural communities as those located in an area that’s more than, or equal to, five miles from an urbanized area and with a population of 25,000 or less.
- Previous Round 1 awardees are eligible to apply. Note that prioritization will be given to applicants not previously awarded.

Tribal libraries serving small and rural communities are eligible to apply.

Grant funds may not be used to support indirect costs (e.g. general library administrative expenses) or as donations to other organizations.

Please note that while many people of an older age have disabilities, age itself is not a disability.

Pre-Application Information
Grant Administration Information:
- Application deadline: December 11, 2023, by 11:59 pm (CT)
- Award notification: February 8, 2024
- Grant implementation period: April 1, 2024, to March 31, 2025
- Final report due: April 30, 2025

Applicants interested in receiving a larger grant must complete an extended version of the application. These proposals will first be considered for an award of $20,000; if not selected for funding at the higher level, the proposal will be considered for a $10,000 award.

Sign up to attend a virtual, small-group consultation to speak with ALA staff:

Branches within the same library system may submit individual applications (even if they share the same DUNS number) as long as their institution meets the eligibility requirements. However, please note that this may mean that your applications are competing against each other.

Multiple libraries can choose to submit a single application together if they feel they do not have the capacity to administer the grant individually, or if a previously awarded site would like to expand their community engagement efforts by collaborating with a neighboring community.

How to Apply:

Application Resources and Tips;



Webinar Information:

SLM Applicant Tutorial:

Grant Writing Tutorial:

Watch the Pre-Application Webinar Now (Recorded October 4, 2023):

Number of Grants
Up to 300 libraries will be selected in this application period (September to December 2023). ALA will make up to 250 awards of $10,000 to eligible institutions. For applicants interested in undertaking a more ambitious project, ALA will make up to 50 awards of $20,000.

Estimated Size of Grant
Libraries selected for funding 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, including template press releases, social media messaging, logos, digital promotional materials, and template letters that can be used to notify local leaders/officials about the library’s project
- Technical and project support from the ALA Public Programs Office throughout the grant term, such as access to: Online learning opportunities for grantees intended to assist project directors in promoting their project, completing grant reporting requirements and participating in evaluation; Community of practice for project directors and staff

Term of Contract
Grant implementation period: April 1, 2024, to March 31, 2025

All libraries awarded an LTC grant will be required to:
- Designate one staff member as the project director (local coordinator). This person will commit to completing all virtual trainings (approximately 4 - 6 hours) before implementing the proposed project.
- Share information about the library’s project, as appropriate, with area elected officials and community leaders.
- Host a minimum of one community conversation using skills learned from the virtual trainings. Conversation must: Take place between April 1, 2024, and March 31, 2025; Include the primary audience identified in the library’s proposal; Focus on discussing accessibility in the community and library in order to collaboratively identify existing resources, needs, and priorities.
- Use findings/outcomes from the community conversation to refine project plans and submit updated plans to ALA.
- Share information about next steps from the conversation with the primary audience and invite their feedback on the project plans.
- Participate in the project evaluation and reporting by responding to requests from the independent project evaluators and completing any requested reports. This may include responding to surveys, participating in phone interviews, and/or hosting site visits.
- Spend the grant funds by March 31, 2025.
- Submit a final report to ALA by April 30, 2025.

Contact Information
Apply online:

If you encounter problems interacting with the online grants management platform due to difficulties with assistive technologies, please contact or call 312.280.5045. Please also include information about the nature of your accessibility barrier so we can best provide support.

If you have questions, contact:
Public Programs Office
American Library Association
1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045

ALA American Library Association
225 N Michigan Ave, Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601

Grant News
Live Chat Chat Now