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14 Tips for Applying for a Native American Library Services Grant

January 16, 2018


Sandra Toro, Ph.D., Senior Program Officer
Stephen Mayeaux, Program Specialist
IMLS Office of Library Services

IMLS recently announced a new April 2nd deadline for applications for Native American Library Services Basic Grants. These grants go to support existing library operations and maintain core library services, and all federally recognized tribes and Alaskan Native villages and corporations with libraries are eligible to apply.

Whether it’s your first time applying or you’ve been through the process before, here are a few tips and things you should know to help you submit a successful application package quickly and easily.

  1. Basic Grants awards now range from $6,000 to $10,000.

  2. Up to $3,000 of the total amount can be used for “Education/Assessment” activities. These activities include conference presentations and attendance, continuing education and training, and hiring consultants. Please see the Notice of Funding Opportunity (PDF, 295KB)for more details.

  3. Applicants must use the standard IMLS Budget Form (PDF, 1MB). To learn more about the form and how to fill it out, join us for a webinar on January 23rd.

  4. A Digital Product Form is required if digital products like websites, apps, datasets, and other digital content, tools, and resources are created with IMLS funds. For guidance about how to complete this form, see the Notice of Funding Opportunity (PDF, 295KB)

  5. All applicants must address performance measures. To learn more about what performance measures are and how to make sure your application includes the necessary information, please join our webinar on January 25th.

  6. PDFs only! We can’t accept Word documents. Make sure all your required application components are PDFs.

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

  8. Read the current Notice of Funding Opportunity (PDF, 295KB) and let us know if you have any questions as soon as possible.

  9. Register early for a D-U-N-S® number; register with the System of Award Management (SAM) at, and create a account. (Call 1-800-518-4726 for help with

  10. Make sure you don’t have any delinquent reports to federal agencies or you cannot receive an award. (If you’re not sure, get in touch with us and we can help you find out).

  11. Our next Basic Grant webinar is January 17th at 3pm ET If you can’t participate, you can review an archived webinar. 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 and review process.

  12. Make sure your budget items match what is described in your Library Services Plan and that you provide a separate description in your Plan for Education/Assessment activities, if applicable.

  13. Talk with program staff. 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.

  14. Finally, 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 (PIS), the Library Services Plan, the Budget, or the Digital Product Form, if you need one. Make sure required forms are submitted as part of your application package or your proposal will be rejected.

Good luck, and don’t forget—you can reach out to us if you have any questions.

About the Authors
Dr. Sandra Toro is the lead program officer for the Native American and Native Hawaiian Library Services grant programs. She can be reached at

Stephen Mayeaux is a Library Program Specialist at IMLS. He assists in the administration of the Native American Library Services, Native Hawaiian Library Services, National Leadership Grants for Libraries, and Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant programs. He can be reached at

Native American Library Services