Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Grants to USA Libraries and Archives to Test Specific Innovations in Library Operation and Services

CFDA or PIN Number:

CFDA Number:


Funding or PIN Number:



Geographic Focus

USA: AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew York CityNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashington, DCWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

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

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)  Marshall Islands (USA)  Republic of Palau (USA)

GrantRegions Object ( [regions] => Array ( ) [is_initialized] => [error_messages] => Array ( ) [qm] => QueryManager Object ( [is_debug] => [conn] => mysqli Object ( [affected_rows] => 8 [client_info] => mysqlnd 5.0.12-dev - 20150407 - $Id: 3591daad22de08524295e1bd073aceeff11e6579 $ [client_version] => 50012 [connect_errno] => 0 [connect_error] => [errno] => 0 [error] => [error_list] => Array ( ) [field_count] => 2 [host_info] => via TCP/IP [info] => [insert_id] => 0 [server_info] => 5.5.5-10.5.18-MariaDB [server_version] => 100518 [stat] => Uptime: 3428288 Threads: 256 Questions: 576948154 Slow queries: 1327 Opens: 128804 Open tables: 2370 Queries per second avg: 168.290 [sqlstate] => 00000 [protocol_version] => 10 [thread_id] => 94796788 [warning_count] => 0 ) ) [has_regions] => 1 [state_names] => Array ( [0] => Alabama; [1] => Alaska; [2] => Arizona; [3] => Arkansas; [4] => California; [5] => Colorado; [6] => Connecticut; [7] => Delaware; [8] => Florida; [9] => Georgia; [10] => Hawaii; [11] => Idaho; [12] => Illinois; [13] => Indiana; [14] => Iowa; [15] => Kansas; [16] => Kentucky; [17] => Louisiana; [18] => Maine; [19] => Maryland; [20] => Massachusetts; [21] => Michigan; [22] => Minnesota; [23] => Mississippi; [24] => Missouri; [25] => Montana; [26] => Nebraska; [27] => Nevada; [28] => New Hampshire; [29] => New Jersey; [30] => New Mexico; [31] => New York; [32] => North Carolina; [33] => North Dakota; [34] => New York City; [35] => Ohio; [36] => Oklahoma; [37] => Oregon; [38] => Pennsylvania; [39] => Rhode Island; [40] => South Carolina; [41] => South Dakota; [42] => Tennessee; [43] => Texas; [44] => Utah; [45] => Vermont; [46] => Virginia; [47] => Washington; [48] => Washington, DC; [49] => West Virginia; [50] => Wisconsin; [51] => Wyoming; ) [province_names] => Array ( ) [country_names] => Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA) [1] => The Federated States of Micronesia (USA) [2] => Guam (USA) [3] => Marshall Islands (USA) [4] => Puerto Rico (USA) [5] => Republic of Palau (USA) [6] => Virgin Islands (USA) [7] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA) ) [is_israel] => [territories] => Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); ) [free_associations] => Array ( [0] => The Federated States of Micronesia (USA) [1] => Marshall Islands (USA) [2] => Republic of Palau (USA) ) )

Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Agency: Federal

GrantWatch ID #164204

Grant Description

Grants of up to $25,000 to USA and territories public and nonprofit libraries, archives and IHEs to test and evaluate new library tools, products, services, or organizational practices. On January 7 and January 13 webinars will be held. Eligible projects are of significant relevance to libraries and archives and test a significant innovation.

These small grants encourage libraries and archives to test and evaluate specific innovations in the ways they operate and the services they provide. Sparks Grants support the deployment, testing, and evaluation of promising and groundbreaking new tools, products, services, or organizational practices.

You may propose activities or approaches that involve risk, as long as the risk is balanced by significant potential for improvement in the ways libraries and archives serve their communities.

Successful proposals will address problems, challenges, or needs of broad relevance to libraries and/or archives. Characteristics of successful projects are as follows:

- Broad Impact: Your project should show the potential for far-reaching impact beyond your institution, and influence practice across one or more disciplines or specific fields within the library or archival profession.

- In-depth Knowledge: Your project should reflect a thorough understanding of current practice and knowledge about the subject matter and an awareness and support of current strategic initiatives and agendas in the field.

- Innovative Approach: Your project should employ new approaches to strengthen and improve services to benefit the audiences and communities being served.

- Shared Results: Your project should generate results that can be widely used, adapted, scaled, or replicated to leverage the benefits of federal investment. Grantees are required to submit a short white paper to be publicly posted and shared with the field.

Need help writing this grant?


  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • School Districts
  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Libraries that fulfill the general criteria for libraries may apply. In addition, institutions of higher education, including public and nonprofit universities, are eligible.

An eligible applicant must be:

• Either a unit of state or local government or private nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code;

• Located in one of the fifty states of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau; and

• One of the six types of organizations listed below:

1. A library or a parent organization, such as a school district, a municipality, a state agency, or an academic institution, that is responsible for the administration of a library. Eligible libraries include public libraries, elementary and secondary school libraries, college and university libraries, research libraries and archives that are not an integral part of an institution of higher education and that make publicly available library services and materials that are suitable for scholarly research and not otherwise available, and private or special libraries that have been deemed eligible to participate in this program by the state in which the library is located.

2. An academic or administrative unit, such as a graduate school of library and information science, which is a part of an institution of higher education through which it would make an application.

3. A digital library, if it makes library materials publicly available and provides library services, including selection, organization, description, reference, and preservation under the supervision of at least one permanent professional staff librarian.

4. A library agency that is an official agency of a state or other unit of government and is charged by the law governing it with the extension and development of public library services within its jurisdiction.

5. A library consortium that is a local, statewide, regional, interstate, or international cooperative association of library entities that provides for the systematic and effective coordination of the resources of eligible libraries, as defined above, and information centers that work to improve the services delivered to the clientele of these libraries.

6. A library association that exists on a permanent basis, serves libraries or library professionals on a national, regional, state, or local level, and engages in activities designed to advance the well-being of libraries and the library profession.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Grant Program Webinars:

Date: January 7, 2016
Time: 3:00 -4:00 PM
Guest Link:
Teleconference Information: 1(866)299-7945 Code: 9910420

Date: January 13, 2016
Time: 2:00 -3:00 PM
Guest Link:
Teleconference Information: 1(866)299-7945 Code: 9910420

You are invited to participate in one of two pre-application webinars to learn more about the program, ask questions, and listen to the questions and comments of other participants. Click here for instructions:

Pre-Application Information:

You may submit as many applications as you wish. Generally, single institutions will receive only 1-2 awards per program during any one cycle.

See also:

It is strongly recommended that you register early for DUNS and and complete and submit the application early. Grants are only made to eligible applicants that submit complete applications, including attachments, through, on or before the deadline.

Additional Funding Information:

Number of Grants:

10 - 12

Estimated Size of Grant:

$10,000 - $25,000

Term of Contract:

October 2016 - October 2017. Projects must begin on October 1, November 1, or December 1, 2016. Project activities may generally be carried out for up to one year.

Contact Information:

Mary Alice Ball, AMLS, PhD, Senior Library Program Officer

Tim Carrigan, Senior Library Program Officer

Sandra Toro, PhD, Senior Library Program Officer

Emily Reynolds, Library Program Officer

Contact the help line:
for assistance with hardware and software issues, registration issues, and technical problems. The help line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except for federal holidays, on which it is closed.

RFP & Supporting Documents:

Full Grant Text RFP

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

Live Chat Chat Now