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Youth Grants for Excellence

Grants to Nebraska Public Libraries for Reading Programs
and Events that Benefit Local Children and Youth

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Nebraska Library Commission (NLC)

Deadline Date:

10/15/18 11:59 PM CT


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Grants ranging from $250 to $1,000 and grants starting at $1,000 to Nebraska public libraries for projects that address the needs of youth and children within communities throughout the State. Funding is intended to support reading programs held in local libraries, attended by young people ranging from preschool age to teens.

The Nebraska Library Commission has made funding available specifically for innovative projects for children and young adults in accredited public libraries and state-run institutional libraries in Nebraska. The program is designed to encourage creative thinking, risk-taking and new approaches to address problems and needs of children and young adults in your community. Grant awards enable youth librarians to begin needed programs and try projects which they have been unable to undertake. The grants also offer an opportunity to expand youth service capabilities in new and different directions.

It is expected that the funding will provide a foundation for ongoing rather than one-time services, which can be continued with community support or through a reallocation of library funds.

Each grant project must have at least one program (an event designed for the project, attended by youth, and usually held in the library) for the youth of the community to attend. More than one program will enhance the application.

Eligible projects include those in an area that will benefit children and/or teens and are a need in the community, for example (but not limited to), projects for youth (preschool, elementary school age, or teen) that will:

- Encourage reading
- Early Childhood Reading Programs
- Concentrate on boys and reading
- Celebrate reading and books
- Encourage creativity
- Develop character
- Encourage and celebrate other materials or opportunities for youth at your library
- Encourage library use by children and/or teens for whom English is a learned language
- Assist library personnel in their ability to meet the service needs of children and/or teens in their community.

Criteria for the grant awards include (but are not limited to):

- The project includes one or more programs (an event or events designed for the project, attended by youth, and usually held in the library) for the target audience.
- The project noted on the application is based on specific, identified needs of children or young adults in the community.
- Materials acquisitions are not requested unless they are critical to the success of the project, and must be part of one or more programs for the target audience as a part of the overall grant project.
- The project described represents a new effort or an entirely different approach to an existing need or program.
- The applications should include both output and outcome measures by which the applicant will evaluate the success of the project. Output measures are quantitative and include statistics such as number of youth attending programs, books circulated, number of programs held, etc. Outcomes are related to the question of whether or not the effort made a difference and if so, what that difference was. Outcome measures might include changes in attitude or behavior; documentation of knowledge acquired, etc. Some evaluation tools used may include surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184409

Estimated Size of Grant:

Two project types include those requesting $250-$1,000 and those requesting more than $1,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any children's librarian, young adult librarian, or adult librarian (in an accredited public library or a state-run institutional library) in charge of children's or young adult services may apply. Schools, service agencies, and/or organizations may be involved through collaborative planning and programming, thus receiving benefit from this project. Please note that before applying for a Youth Grant for Excellence, if the entity has unresolved issues with any previous Commission grant projects, it will not be eligible to apply.

Ineligible expenses:

- The purchase of furniture or food with grant funds is not allowed.
- Applications that request funds for collection development rather than focusing on purchases for a particular program or goal will be denied.
- In general, the purchase of computer equipment is not allowed. This means that computer equipment or technology that is going to be used for circulation, general Internet access, etc. as part of the library's regular services would not be considered. However, computer equipment and/or technology which is necessary for specific youth programs or services and without which such programs or services would not be possible, will be considered.
- Grant funds may not be used for payment of salary or wages for permanent library staff.
- AWE work stations, or similar stations of other companies, are no longer eligible for these grants.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be received by the Nebraska Library Commission submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. CT on October 15, 2018. Faxes and U.S. mail will not be accepted. You will be notified by November 16, 2018 if you are awarded a grant.The signature page and print support materials (e.g., catalog page or computer printout displaying item intended for purchase, list of books and/or materials for purchase, estimates from suppliers, letters from project partners, etc.) may be submitted during the week following the due date.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the amount required to implement their ideas successfully. There are two different application forms. For projects requesting $250 - $1,000 in grant funds use the abbreviated, or short, form. For projects requesting more than $1,000 use the longer form. Please be sure to use the correct form for your project.

The Commission now offers only the online application, but if you prefer you are still welcome to write your application in Word, or another word processing program, and email it to Sally Snyder. If appropriate, support materials (e.g., catalog page or computer printout displaying item intended for purchase, list of books and/or materials for purchase, letters from project partners, etc.) may be included as part of the application or sent in during the week following the due date.

Matching Funds: All grants require a local match of 25% of the amount requested (grant amount). Ten percent (10%) of the amount requested for the local match must be in cash. The remaining 15% of the amount requested for the local match can be in-kind costs and/or additional cash. The minimum amount that will be awarded per grant is $250, which means the minimum total project cost will be $313, with your library providing at least $63 ($25 cash and $38 in-kind, remember you must round up to full dollars) for the 25% match required. For in-kind costs, if an applicant is going to use staffing resources as part of the local match, the staffing resources must be dedicated to the project. Other in-kind costs such as the printing of brochures for an event could also count toward the 15% local match. Please note: the cash match can also be contributed by the local library's friends group, foundation, a local donor, or any other source outside the library.

The project director may be asked to make a presentation describing the project at a statewide or regional library system's event for youth librarians or as part of the Nebraska Library Commission's NCompass Live webinars.

For general information, questions, comments, or suggestions, contact Sally Snyder at the Nebraska Library Commission.

For information about the Youth Grants for Excellence program:

For Samples of Exemplary Applications:

For the Signature Page (to be submitted as part of the application):

Tips for Writing a Successful Grant Application:

Online Recording of NCompass Live: Get a Youth Grant for Excellence!:

Contact Information:

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

Online Application Forms:

- Short form (for projects requesting a grant amount of $250-$1,000):

- Long form (for projects requesting a grant amount of more than $1,000):

For information, contact:

Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services
Nebraska Library Commission
The Atrium
1200 N Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508-2023
Phone: 800-307-2665 or 402-471-4003

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Nebraska