May 18, 2022

Funding: IMLS Awards $1.2 Million in Grants for Innovative Work at Small and Rural Libraries

From the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS):

The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the first grant projects funded through the Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries (APP) initiative, launched in 2018.

The agency received applications from 114 organizations that requested grants totaling $4,931,919. IMLS selected 30 grantees, who will receive a total of $1,286,581 and will voluntarily match these awards with an additional $405,785.
“Small libraries are the backbones of so many communities across the U.S.,” said Cyndee Landrum, Deputy Director of Library Services. “The first awards under this special initiative will address the unique needs that tribal, rural, and small libraries have identified, investing in new, promising practices on a national scale.”

This new funding opportunity was designed to strengthen the ability of small and/or rural libraries, archives, and related organizations to serve their communities. Grant proposals could focus on transforming school library practice, community memory, or digital inclusion work, and award sizes range from $10,000 to $50,000.

Examples of APP funded grants include:

  • School Library Practice: The Orleans Central Supervisory Union in Orleans, Vermont, will transform the Orleans Elementary School’s library from a transactional space to a learning hub for students. Teachers will have individualized professional learning opportunities and focused planning time, and more flexible, personalized, and student-centered learning areas will be added to the library space.
  • Community Memory: The Huna Heritage Foundation (HHF) is responding to the needs of its community to document clan lineage information that defines the identities of the aboriginal peoples of Hoonah, Alaska. The project will collect and preserve Hoonah clan membership data in digital archives and make clan lineage booklets accessible to the community. Along with a range of local partners, HHF will engage the community through a series of clan workshops, community events at the school, direct outreach, and other programs.
  • Digital Inclusion: The Dade County Public Library of the Cherokee Regional Library System in Georgia will partner with the Dade County Jail to work with incarcerated people on digital literacy through the Next Chapter Program. The program, aimed at ultimately reducing rates of recidivism, will focus on basic computer skills, GED certification, and a variety of topics designed to promote digital literacy, economic self-sufficiency, and stable living for inmates of the Dade County Jail.
More information about library grant programs and open funding opportunities can be found on the IMLS website.
About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.