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Grants to New York Public Libraries in Eligible Counties for
Youth Programming and COVID-19-Related Expenses

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Community Foundation of Tompkins County - Bernard Carl and Shirley Rosen Library Fund

Deadline Date:

03/10/21 8:00 PM EST


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Grants of up to $16,000 to New York public libraries in eligible counties for youth literary programming. Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis, requests may also be submitted for specific capital expenses and to offset funding losses. Eligible applicants are the 33 libraries within the Finger Lakes Library System in Cayuga, Cortland, Seneca, Tioga, and Tompkins counties.

This fund was originated “to promote greater and easier access by youth to local libraries” and to “promote genuine intellectual curiosity and a lifelong love of reading and learning.”

In view of the current extraordinary times, additional guidelines are in place for 2021 only. These guidelines include the following:

  • Lost Funding: Grant funds are allowed to be used to replace lost funding as they relate to youth services.
  • Tents: Requests for tent purchase/rental in support of outside summer reading programs will be allowed.
  • Projector, Screens, Sound System/Equipment: Funding for these will be considered if they are explicitly tied to reading (as has been the case with performer requests historically). While a screen can be used for movies, it should also be used for specific reading-related activities as well, and the application should indicate how the equipment is part of youth services supporting the love of reading. 

Additionally, funds are available to support the purposes indicated below, in accordance with the written bequest of Bernard Carl and Shirley Rosen. Funds are available for:

  • Early Childhood (Birth to 5)
  • Kindergarten - 5th Grade
  • 6th - 12th grade
  • Summer Reading Programming

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 150137

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant Range: $200-$16,000

Term of Contract:

The grant range is $200-$16,000 per library.

Collaborative grants that have 5 or more collaborating libraries will be eligible for an additional $16,000 maximum (not counted toward the individual library maximums). Collaborative grants with fewer than five partners should indicate how much of the grant is being designated to each partner. This amount will apply toward the library's $16,000 maximum.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are the 33 public libraries in Cayuga, Cortland, Seneca, Tioga, and Tompkins counties, the 5 counties of the Finger Lakes Library System.

Rosen will not fund the following youth-related activities/services:
• Computers for general use
• Capital campaigns
• Furniture/bookshelves (e.g. will not fund a couch or chair for a teen corner/room)
• Internet services
• Performers for purposes of entertainment alone. Performers must be part of a comprehensive plan for activities and events that encourage learning and literacy and that support ongoing access to the library and its services (see previous example).
• Console video game devices (e.g. X-box, Nintendo, PlayStation)
• The Rosen bequest specifically indicates, “Funds should not be used to promote a political agenda”. Community Reads will be considered for grant support if they are in accordance with the intent of the bequest

Outdoor furniture rental/purchase: will not be considered for funding

Pre-Application Information:

Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 10, 2021 (8 pm EST)

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Requests for technical support should be directed to Jessie Galbreath-Nocera, the Administrative Coordinator at Community Foundation of Tompkins County at 607-272-9333.

Content-related questions should be directed to Nora Burrows at the Finger Lakes Library System at 607-273-4074 x.227 or Janet Cotraccia, Chief Impact Officer at Community Foundation of Tompkins County at 607-272-9333.

Community Foundation of Tompkins County
200 E. Buffalo Street, Suite 202
Ithaca, NY 14850

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York: Cayuga, Cortland, Seneca, Tioga and Tompkins counties

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