Deadline: September 24, 2021
Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2022 (PDF 748KB) is now available.

Program Overview: The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) supports the development of a diverse workforce of librarians and archivists in order to meet the information needs of their communities by enhancing the training and professional development of library and archives professionals; developing faculty and information leaders; and recruiting, educating, and retaining the next generation of library and archives professionals.

The goals for this program are to generate projects of broad impact that:

  • Recruit, train, develop, and retain a diverse workforce of library and archives professionals.

  • Develop faculty, library, and archives leaders by increasing the institutional capacity of libraries, archives, and of graduate programs related to library and information science.

  • Enhance the training and professional development of the library and archival workforce to meet the needs of their communities.

Throughout its work, IMLS places importance on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This may be reflected in an IMLS-funded project in a wide range of ways, including efforts to serve individuals of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds; individuals with disabilities; individuals with limited functional literacy or information skills; individuals having difficulty using a library or museum; and underserved urban and rural communities, including children from families with incomes below the poverty line.

Application Process: The application process for the LB21 program has two phases. For Phase I, all applicants must submit preliminary proposals by the deadline listed above. For Phase II, selected applicants will be invited to submit full proposals. Only Invited Full Proposals will be considered for funding. Invited Full Proposals will be due March 25, 2022.

Award Amount and Cost Share Requirement: Award amounts and cost share requirements are as follows:

Project Type

Award Amount

Cost Share Requirement

Planning Grants

$50,000 to $150,000

No cost share required.

Forum Grants

$50,000 to $150,000

No cost share required.

Implementation Grants

$50,000 to $1,000,000

Requests of more than $249,999 in IMLS funds require at least 1:1 cost share from non-federal sources.

Applied Research

$50,000 to $750,000

No cost share required.

Cost sharing is not considered in the peer review of applications, but is an eligibility criterion for certain LB21 project types. See the Notice of Funding Opportunity for further information on cost share.

Grant Period: One to two years for Planning Grants and Forum Grants. One to three years for Implementation Grants and Applied Research Grants.

Eligibility: See the Notice of Funding Opportunity for eligibility criteria for this program.

Program Contacts: We encourage all applicants to contact the member of our team whose portfolio most closely aligns with your proposal. In order for us to best support you, please be in touch early in the application process and prior to submitting an application.

Erin Barsan

Archives and special collections
Audiovisual collections
Community archives
Digital collections
Digital preservation

Jill Connors-Joyner

Diversifying the future library workforce
Early learning
Informal STEM learning and Making
School libraries
Young adult services

Sarah Fuller

Community development
Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives
Population-specific programs and services
Public health
Workforce development

James Neal

Civic technology
Data privacy and security
Digital inclusion
Open educational resources

Dr. Ashley Sands

Data curation
Data science and AI
Open infrastructures
Scholarly communications
Web archives

If you have general questions, please contact

Grant Program Webinar: We invite you to watch a pre-application webinar to learn more about the program. Click here to access the recording or read the transcript.

September 24, 2021