10 Library Grants Every Librarian Should Apply For

Applying for library grants is a great way to leverage your library. While school events and fundraisers can help, they require a lot of work. Grant money can help you create a more robust library with a lot of variety to offer your students. One common misconception when it comes to writing grants is that they take a lot of time. In reality, applying for library grants does not have to be too time-consuming, and the payoff can be really big. Check out the list of the ten library grants every librarian should apply for.

Dollar General Youth Literacy Grant

This grant can be used for schools, public libraries, and nonprofits who work with students that need help improving their literacy skills. You can use the grant funding to expand literacy programs, purchase equipment, and technology to support literacy, and also purchase books and materials for any literacy programs.

The 2024 applications are closed and the next opening is scheduled for March of 2025. The maximum grant amount is $4,000.

Dollar General Summer Reading Grant

This grant is intended to expand existing summer reading programs but can also be used to develop new programs. If you work in a Pre-K-12th grade school where students who are new readers, below grade level, or have been identified with learning disabilities – this grant was made for you.

The 2024 applications have closed for this grant, but keep your eye out for them to open again in early 2025. The maximum grant amount is $3,000.

AASL Innovative Reading Grant

In order to apply for this grant, you must be a member of AASL (American Association of School Librarians). This grant is intended for projects that help improve reading for K-9th grade students. They are looking for applicants that want to motivate readers in innovative ways and have research to support their project. The full list of regulations is on the website linked above.

The next round of applications for this library grant will open in September 2024. You can earn up to $2,500 for this grant.

Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries

The Laura Bush Foundation grant is intended to help librarians extend, update, and diversify their libraries to promote a love of reading in students. In order to apply, your school must be Title I Eligible. If you teach in a Private or Parochial school, you can apply if 50% or more of the student population qualifies for financial aid.

Applications for this library grant will reopen in the fall of 2024. In a previous grant cycle (2022-2023), the foundation gave away $1.5 million in grants to 300 libraries.

Snapdragon Book Foundation

Money from this grant is intended to purchase books that will be used repeatedly by school-aged children or to purchase reference materials. This grant can also be used for processing or cataloging fees from book vendors or for newspaper or magazine subscriptions for your school’s library. One great thing about this grant is that you can reapply annually, even if you’ve previously been awarded the money. The funds are intended to be used within 9 months of receiving them.

Applications for this grant are open from November-February annually. Grant amounts typically range from $2,500 to $10,000.

Jan Stauber-Sherlock Holmes Literacy Grant

This is one of the more unique library grants, but it’s a fun one. The purpose of this grant is to foster a love of reading for students, specifically by introducing them to Sherlock Holmes books. The target audience is elementary, middle, and high schools in the USA and Canada.

Applications for this grant can be submitted at any point throughout the year, and you can earn up to $1,000.

Books Save Lives Grant

This library grant is intended to help schools in the United States purchase diverse titles for their libraries. One requirement of this grant is that the books stay on the shelves for at least 4 years.  This grant is unique in that it prioritizes applicants located in areas most impacted by book bans and censorship.

Applications for this grant open annually in February. The grant will provide up to $10,000 in funds.

Peggy Barber Tribute Grant

The Peggy Barber grant is associated with the American Library Association (ALA). Each year, the ALA chooses to focus the grant on a specific type of library programming. For example, this year, the grant focuses on programming related to civil education. One unique feature of this library grant is that it is not school-specific, any type of literacy program can apply.

Applications for this grant will likely reopen in December 2024. The maximum grant amount is $2,500.

Eisner Graphic Novel Grant for Libraries

If you’re looking to build your library’s graphic novel collection, this is definitely a grant you should check out. The purpose of this grant is to increase awareness of the importance of graphic literature and chooses applicants who wish to create programs and services that will promote graphic novels. In order to apply for this grant, you must be a current ALA member.

Applications for this grant open annually in February. Each library receives $4,000, and they do require you to spend the money in certain ways, such as buying novels, hosting an event, and attending the ALA conference.

Association of American Educators Foundation Classroom Grant Application

This grant can be used for both schoolwide and classroom libraries, and can be used to purchase books, software, calculators, art supplies, math manipulatives, AV equipment, and lab materials. It is required that funds are used within one year of receiving the grant. Applicants cannot reapply for this grant within two years of winning the grant previously.

Applications are open twice annually, once in October and once in March. The maximum grant amount is $500.

As you can see, there is such a large variety of library grants out there that can support you as you work to build a more diverse and robust library.  Library grants are a great way to bring money into your school library without having to spend out of pocket or host events. If you’re unsure of how to write a grant, make sure to use the resources available to you! Reach out to others in your school who may have experience, or even ask a librarian at the local library. There are even many guides available online to support you.

9 Responses

  1. Do you have to be an actual librarian to apply for these? I’m the lead parent volunteer in our school library and we need new books desperately.

  2. Good Morning, I am looking to apply for grants to help fund our school with new books for the fall. Is there still time to apply for grants? Thank you for your help. Have a good day.

    1. You will need to read the post to see the deadline for each of the grants.

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