CSL News

Tips for Applying for a Native American Library Services Basic Grant

For more than twenty years, the Institute of Museum and Library Services has provided grants to tribal communities throughout the United States. Over the past ten years alone, IMLS made awards to more than 350 tribes and indigenous organizations in 33 states, including over 70 each in Alaska and California, 34 in Oklahoma, 24 in Washington, 19 in New Mexico, 15 in Arizona, 12 in Michigan, 7 in Minnesota, 7 in Montana, and 5 each in South Dakota and Utah.

Recently, IMLS announced an April 1 deadline for applications for the Native American Library Services Basic Grants program. Basic grants support existing tribal library operations and help maintain core library services. All federally recognized tribes and Alaskan Native villages and corporations with libraries are eligible and welcome to apply. Last year, IMLS awarded over 180 basic grants. They’ve put together a new list of tips to help you submit a successful application package this year—here’s what you need to know.

Changes in Basic Grants:  This year, basic grants now range from $6,000-$10,000. Only up to $3,000 of your total budget can be used for education/assessment activities. These activities include conference presentations and attendance, continuing education and training, and hiring consultants. However, you’re not required to include education/assessment activities. If you would like to use all $10,000 for salaries, books, or other library-related budget items, that’s both allowable and appropriate! Please see the Notice of Funding Opportunity for more details.

Tips for a Successful Application: Please include all the required documents in your application package. We don’t want your application to be rejected because you forgot the SF-424S, the program information sheet, the library services plan, the budget, or the digital product form, if you need one. Here are a few tips to help you complete all the forms correctly:

  • Applicants must use the IMLS budget form, found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.
  • digital product form is required if digital products like websites, apps, datasets, and other digital content, tools, and resources are created with IMLS funds.
  • All applicants must address performance measures. Please join us for a webinar about performance measures on Wednesday, February 20, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET to learn more.
  • Reminder: we can accept PDFs only. We cannot accept Word documents. Make sure all of your required application components are PDFs.
  • Make sure your budget items match what is described in your library services plan. Also, provide a separate description in your plan for education/assessment activities, if applicable.

Using All applicants are required to use Workspace on Here are a few resources to help you get started:

A few tips:

  • Register early for a D-U-N-S® number, register with the System of Award Management (SAM) at, and create a account.
  • Make sure you don’t have any delinquent reports to federal agencies, since you will be ineligible to receive an award if this is the case. If you’re not sure of your status, please get in touch with us, and we can help you find out.

Getting Help:

IMLS is here to help! Please read the current Notice of Funding Opportunity and reach out if you have any questions. Our webinars are great refreshers for applicants who have not submitted a proposal for several years, as well as new applicants who are unfamiliar with the application process.

  • If you can’t join us for a live webinar, you can view webinars on-demand. If you’re unsure if a cost is allowable or if you are not sure about what to include in your plan, we can talk with you and give you feedback on your ideas before you submit.
  • For questions about eligibility, your library services plan and project activities, the digital product form, or your budget, including allowability of costs, contact:
  • Sandra Toro, Ph.D., Senior Program Officer,, 202-653-4662
  • For questions about application requirements and deadlines, contact:
  • Sarah Boonie, Program Specialist,, 202-653-4761 or
  • Chelsea Cole, Program Specialist,, 202-653-4719

Click here to read this email online.

Lifelong Literacy

Grants Available for Colorado Teen Literature Conference in April

Grants are now available for teens and adults to attend the 31st Annual Colorado Teen Literature Conference on Saturday, April 13th, 2019, featuring keynote authors Sandhya Menon and Bill Konigsberg. This annual conference offers breakout sessions that have appeal for teens, educators, librarians, and anyone interested in teen literature.

The conference will be held at the Tivoli Conference Center (900 Auraria Parkway, Denver CO, 80204) on the Auraria Campus. Grant applications for the 2019 conference are open starting November 15th, 2018. The deadline for all grants is January 25th, 2019. All applicants will be notified of final decisions by email.

All grants include conference registrations ($75 for adults and $40 for students), breakfast snacks and lunch at the conference. Grants are awarded before general registration opens. If you do not receive a grant you may register for the conference starting February 4th.

Teen Grants: Each student may only apply for one grant; duplicate applications will result in removal from consideration. Students who have received grants in the past are also not eligible.

  1. Colorado Language Arts Society (CLAS): Students in grades 6-12 and teens who are homeschooled are eligible to apply. Teens may self-nominate or be nominated by a teacher or librarian.
  2. REFORMA Colorado: Students in grades 6-12 and teens who are homeschooled are eligible to apply. Teens may self-nominate or be nominated by a teacher or librarian.
  3. UCD Teen Connection PanelTen teens will be selected to ask authors Sandhya Menon and Bill Konigsberg questions for the audience. You will sit at a table in front of an audience of around 300 people and speak into a microphone to ask your questions. To prepare, you will need to read books by both authors and prepare 5 thoughtful questions to ask both authors.
  4. Teen Grant by The Word: This grant is available to teens from underrepresented groups, including underrepresentation based on: race, cultural, ethnic, or religious identity; gender identity; sexual orientation; physical, cognitive or emotional disability; and socioeconomic adversity. Teens may self-nominate or be nominated by a teacher or librarian. Grant will include an RTD day pass to assist with transportation.

Adult Grants:  Each adult may only apply for one grant; duplicate applications will result in removal from consideration. Adults who have received grants in the past are also not eligible.

  1. Magwitch GrantThis grant is available to adults who advocate for teens, and who are interested in teen Literature and the authors who write for the teen audience. The grant is intended to assist an adult who might otherwise be unable to attend.
  2. Educator Grant by The Word: This grant is available to educators from underrepresented groups, including underrepresentation based on: race, cultural, ethnic, or religious identity; gender identity; sexual orientation; physical, cognitive or emotional disability; and socioeconomic adversity. The grant is intended to assist an educator who might otherwise not be able to attend. Grant will include an RTD day pass to assist with transportation.
  3. Colorado Language Arts Society (CLAS):  This grant is available to teachers and librarians who advocate for teens, and who are interested in teen Literature and the authors who write for the teen audience. The grant is intended to assist an adult who might otherwise not be able to attend.

Please visit their website for questions and more information at:

Digital Colorado

CLIR: Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Grant Available.

Council on Library and Information Resources: Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives

Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives, a program of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), is intended to help digitize and provide access to collections of rare or unique content in cultural heritage institutions. The program supports projects that make digitized sources easily discoverable and accessible alongside related materials, including materials held by other collecting institutions as well as those held within the home institution. Collections proposed for digitization may be in any format or relevant to any subject. Grants, ranging from a minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $250,000 in the case of a single-institution project or $500,000 for a collaborative project, will be provided to colleges and universities, research centers, museums, libraries, historical societies, cultural associations, and select government units. Online initial proposals must be submitted by April 3, 2019; final proposals are due September 17, 2019. Visit the CLIR website to review the program guidelines and application process.

Colorado Historic Newspapers

New Year, New Newspaper Support Program

CHNC New Content Support Program

The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC) is excited to announce that the 2019 program to support the addition of new historic news in the CHNC is now open for applications.  The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection New Content Support Program for newspaper digitization is designed to help cultural heritage organizations across our state increase online access to historic community news through the CHNC.  We want to help local communities include their historic stories to the larger Colorado digital newspaper footprint.

About CHNC

A service of the Colorado State Library, the CHNC currently includes more than 1.2 million digitized pages, representing more than 250 individual newspaper titles published in Colorado primarily from 1859 through 1923. Due to copyright restrictions, the CHNC does not always include newspapers published after 1923, but the CHNC can digitize beyond 1923 if publisher permission can be secured by our partners.

On-going support for maintaining, developing, and providing access to the CHNC is paid for with state and federal funds administered by the Colorado State Library. We continue to add new pages to the CHNC when community funding is located to pay the costs of digitization.


Program funding will be awarded for the digitization of newspapers on microfilm or in original format; the processing of digital files including segmentation of pages into articles, advertisements and illustrations; the creation of metadata; OCR transcription of newspaper text and inclusion in the CHNC online database.  Support awards can only be used to offset the cost of digitizing newspaper pages for inclusion in the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection, and will be applied by the Colorado State Library to support the actual digitization process through their chosen vendor partners.

In Spring of 2019, CHNC will award $15,000 in support for newspaper digitization projects. Institutions can apply for a maximum of $3,000 of support funding and a minimum of $1,500 towards the digitization of newspapers for inclusion in the CHNC. All support awards require a 25{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} cash match.  The cash match needs to be provided to CHNC by June 30, 2019. The amount of funding requested by applicants will determine how many projects will be funded.

Who Can Apply

We strongly encourage institutions that are not currently CHNC partners to apply.  Special consideration will be given to newspaper content that is underrepresented in CHNC such as geographic areas, ethnic groups, social movements and non standard content types such as company newsletters.

Private individuals wishing to apply for support funding should be partnered with a local cultural heritage organization such as a library, archives, museum, friends group or association.  Single individuals without affiliation will not be considered.

Application Process

Complete all questions on the application form, found here.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Applications received on or before February 28, 2019 will be considered.

Successful projects will be selected by the Program Committee.  Projects will be evaluated on the historical significance of proposed newspaper title, support of content areas that are currently underrepresented in CHNC and plans for community engagement.  Special consideration will be given to institutions that are not currently CHNC partners.

Application Rubric

Total available points = 50 pts

  • Completed form = 5 Pts
  • Historical significance of title(s) = 1 – 10 pts
  • Support of Content Areas not currently represented = 1 – 10 pts
  • New title to CHNC = 5pts
  • New Partner to CHNC = 10 pts
  • Plans for ongoing community engagement and promotion = 1-10 pts

Project Period or Timeline

The project time period is from April 1, 2019 to December 30, 2019.  Any digitization work needs to be in process by December 15, 2019.


Completed applications must be received on or before February 28, 2019.


Awardees will be notified by March 15, 2019.

Questions and Additional Considerations

The program does not cover indirect costs and cannot be used for any purpose other than the digitization of newspaper content to be added to CHNC.  If you have questions about the support program, the application process, or about newspapers available for digitization or if you would like a cost estimate please contact Leigh Jeremias,  If you are considering applying to support a newspaper title that may be in copyright (issues published after 1923) please contact Leigh prior to the application submission so copyright holder permissions can be discussed.


CSL News

Funds for Youth Programs in Oklahoma and Surrounding States

The Kerr Foundation primarily provides support to nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma; however, the Foundation also considers requests from organizations in the surrounding states of Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, and Texas, as well as organizations located in Washington, DC. The Foundation offers grants to organizations that provide new or enhanced opportunities, particularly for youth, which address the following areas of interest:

  • education
  • health
  • arts and culture
  • human services

Grants generally range from $1,000 to $50,000. The upcoming deadline for letters of inquiry is December 27, 2018; full applications must be submitted by January 18, 2019. Visit the Foundation’s website to review the grant guidelines and application process.

Digital Colorado

SIPA is Here to Help

The SIPA (Statewide Internet Portal Authority) recently opened applications for its 2019 Micro-Grant program.   The program is designed for state and local governments, special districts and public education in Colorado to put more information and services online.  Grant funding is available for hardware, professional services, innovation, digitization
project planning and broadband.  Example projects include, digitization and online access of historical collections, school programming, information kiosks and interactive mapping. 

Mark you calendar for SIPA’s 2018-19 grant application timeline:

  • November 30, 2018: Grant applications open
  • January 18, 2019: Grant applications due by 5pm MST
  • January 19 – March 1, 2019: SIPA review period
  • March 4– 8, 2019: SIPA will announce the 2019 grant awardees
  • April 16, 2019: Awards are given at the annual SIPA User Conference and Grant Ceremony

If you have questions about the grant application process please refer to SIPA’s frequently Asked Questions page or email  I am also happy to offer advice on proposed historic collection projects.  You are welcomed to contact me at

Resource Sharing

Tips for Novice Grant Writers

Is your library considering writing a grant proposal in the near future? Many libraries rely on grants to fund projects of all sizes, yet few of us have professional grant writers on staff. If you’re new to grants you probably have lots of questions, starting with the fundamentals and the overall process.

To explore some of these questions, I attended a two-day Strategic Grant Writing Workshop from the Institute for Strategic Funding Development in June 2018. The attendees came from higher education, nonprofits, and government, and all were new to grant writing. During the course we learned how to construct strategy-based grant proposals using tips that have been helpful in securing millions of dollars in funding. Here is the information that resonated with me and that I felt would be useful to a wider audience.

Know your funding sources

Grant-makers fall into one of three categories: federal, foundation, or state. Knowing how they differ can help you find a grant that aligns with the goals of your project and your organization.

Federal funding

Approximately 52 billion dollars in federal grant funding is available annually. The awards are often large and the application process is rigorous and competitive. Novice grant writers may want to start with other types of grants before moving on to federal grants. That being said, our instructor gave us some tips for improving our chances of securing a federal grant:

  • Look for grants before the funding announcements go live. You can do this by researching past grants to get a sense of what will be offered again, and when. Then you will have more time to prepare your grant application.
  • The main website for federal grants is You should also check Assistance Listings (formerly Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance or CFDA) during your preliminary planning to see comprehensive information about funding options.
  • Consider contacting the program officer for the grant that interests you; most are willing to chat with you about your proposal. Keep in mind that summer is a busy time for the grant cycle, so you will have more success contacting program officers during the winter months.

Foundation funding

Foundations offer approximately 54 billion dollars in annual grant funding. Their application guidelines vary but are usually easier and less competitive than federal grants. This is a good place to start if you are new to grant writing.

There are 1,671 foundations in Colorado, plus many more national grant-making foundations. When applying for a national grant, look at where the foundation is headquartered — this is a good indicator of where they will fund. For example, 75{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} of Colorado foundations make grants only in Colorado, while 25{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} making grants in other states.

Corporate foundations usually make larger grants with competitive, complex applications. They have websites with detailed information about their grants, which is not always the case with other types of foundations.

Community foundations usually make larger grants with competitive, complex applications. They also have websites with detailed grant application instructions. Unlike corporate foundations, their funding comes from many sources instead of just one. Some of Colorado’s largest community foundations include:

  • Denver Community Foundation
  • Rose Community Foundation
  • Aspen Community Foundation
  • Boulder County Community Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Northern Colorado
  • Community First Foundation

Independent foundations are numerous (over 1,400 in Colorado alone) and usually offer smaller, less competitive grants. However, it is much more difficult to find comprehensive information about these types of grants because many independent foundations don’t have websites or accept unsolicited applications.

To look for independent grant-making foundations, search the Foundation Directory Online, a fee-based database that is available at several Colorado public libraries. The Foundation Center has another resource, Visualizing Funding for Libraries, that is free and available to anyone. It provides information on potential funders and what library proposals they are funding. You can also trying searching The Colorado Trust and The Grantsmanship Center.

Hot tip: Many independent foundation grant processes require a letter of proposal rather than a lengthy application. If you are applying for multiple grants, create a customizable proposal template that you can reuse.

State funding

The State of Colorado is another source of grant funding. While no consolidated grant portal exists for state grants, one place to start is You should also check with the state agency most closely aligned with your funding request for more information about the grants that they offer.

Looking for more ways to find grant funding? Many libraries offer services and resources tailored for small businesses and nonprofits, like this Finding the Funding Guide from Pikes Peak Library District. Your local librarian would be happy to help you with your search.

Tips on Writing Proposals

Keep the following advice in mind when preparing and composing your proposal.

  • It pays to write a good proposal — literally! A well-written proposal is less work for the grant funding officer to evaluate, which they will appreciate. Attention to detail may be the difference between you and the funding you seek.
  • Use the funder’s evaluation criteria as a framework for building your proposal.
  • Funders want to see the impact of their dollars, so focus more on outcomes than on details. Embed the “why” in every part of your application.
  • Attitude counts! Don’t act like a supplicant begging for money. Foundations are required to spend money to keep their charitable status, so make your proposal an opportunity for them.
  • Cite similarities to other grants the funders have accepted. This not only shows that your goals are aligned with theirs, but that you’ve done your homework.

I hope you’ve found some of this information useful during your grant writing process. Though I’m a novice myself I would be happy to answer your questions about my experience in the workshop.

Digital Colorado

SIPA Helps You Get Information Online

Need a little help getting your historic collections online?  The Statewide Internet Portal Authority (SIPA) can help you do that.  Each year SIPA offers a micro-grant program designed for state and local governments, special districts k-12 and public universities in Colorado to put more citizen-facing information and services online. This can mean online access to historic collections often found in libraries, archives or museums.  Grant awards typically range from $1,000-$6,500 but smaller or larger amounts can be requested and have been funded.  This year they will award over $100,000 in grants.

Henry Rifle of John Evans. WR.18.1, War Relic Collection, History Colorado.

SIPA funds a variety of digital projects that have included the development of mobile apps, creation of interactive maps, and assistance with website creation.  Funding has also been awarded to projects that included digitization and increased online access of historic collections.   The 2016 funded projects included; scanning and making historic maps available online, free and open online access to digitized House and Senate Journals, conversion of videos to digital formats made available online, and increased online accessibility to a historic museum collection.  In addition to these projects, SIPA has also funded newspaper digitization projects in the past.

Mark you calendar for SIPA’s 2017 grant application timeline:

  • December 1, 2017: Grant applications open
  • January 19, 2018: Grant applications due by 5pm MST
  • January 20 – March 2, 2018: SIPA review period
  • March 5 – 9, 2018: SIPA will announce the 2017 grant awardees
  • April 24, 2018: Awards are given at the annual SIPA User Conference and Grant Ceremony

If you have questions about the grant application process please refer to SIPA’s frequently Asked Questions page or email  I am also happy to offer advice on proposed historic collection projects and completing the application.  You are welcomed to contact me at

CSL News

Colorado’s Prison Libraries helped by State Grants to Libraries

Colorado Correctional Libraries were awarded over $5,ooo by the 2016-17 State Grants to Libraries (read more about the State Grants to Libraries program).

The Institutional Library Development Team used the funds to purchase new materials: DVDs that state prison librarians can use to create reentry-focused programming about vocational skills, parenting, healthy eating, succeeding during parole, and other topics.

Read more about how Colorado Correctional Libraries contribute to the reduction of recidivism.


Our Services & Programs

Grants & Grant Writing

The Colorado State Library administers three different annual grants to eligible Colorado libraries.

Grant Opportunities