Beyond Words

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Dollar General, in collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA), the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and the National Education Association (NEA), is sponsoring a school library disaster relief fund for public school libraries in the states served by Dollar General. The fund will provide grants to public schools whose school library program has been affected by a disaster. Grants are to replace or supplement books, media and/or library equipment in the school library setting.

The program also features a website devoted to disaster preparedness & recovery with resources and a toolkit to help school librarians prepare for and deal with natural disasters and terrorist acts.

Funding Focus

Grants will be awarded to public school libraries that have incurred substantial damage or hardship due to a natural disaster (tornado, earthquake, hurricane, flood, avalanche, mudslide), fire or an act recognized by the federal government as terrorism. The goal is to provide funding for books, media, and/or library equipment that support learning in a school library environment. The impact can be through direct loss or through an increase in enrollment due to displaced/evacuee students.

Prior to starting, please confirm qualifications. Are you:

  • A public school with a pre-existing school library
  • Within 36 months from the date of the disaster
  • 20 miles from a Dollar General Store
  • Replacing of supplementing books, media or library equipment (note furniture and shelving are not permissible purchases with grant funds)
  • A certified school librarian, or is there a certified school librarian at the campus, district or regional level that will be involved purchasing decisions
  • Able to spend the funds within 180 days of receiving
  • Able to submit a report, with receipts, to show how the funds were allocated

Before starting your application please print out the application and collect the necessary information. Note that reviewers look for both evidence of loss as well as appropriate use of funds. A poorly written application may be scored lower due to lack of, or incoherent, information. Once you have finished your application please print out and retain a copy for your records.


Allison Cline
Deputy Executive Director