Sponsored by Marina "Marney" Welmers
Through the generous donation of Marina “Marney” Welmers, an AASL member and retired middle school librarian, AASL is pleased to offer the Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant, a grant to help and support a pre-existing public middle or high school library—led by a certified school librarian—that has incurred 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 or provides funding to a middle or high school public school that has been impacted through an increase in enrollment due to displaced/evacuee students.
The Fund is $30,000 per year. Final grant amounts to the applicant will be dependent on a number of variables including: total number of applicants, geographic distribution, and total unmet need. The Jury will determine the final grant amount.
The applicant must be a publicly funded middle or high school, grades 5-12, and have a pre-existing campus library. Each library, regardless of the variety of constituents it may serve, is limited to submission of one application.
Within the past 36 months, the public middle or high school library must have lost its building or incurred damage or hardship due to a natural disaster (tornado, earthquake, hurricane, flood, avalanche, mudslide, severe winds), fire, or an act recognized by the federal government as terrorism OR has absorbed a significant number (more than 10% enrollment) of displaced/evacuee students.
The grant is awarded to individual schools, not to districts; all schools in a given district are welcome to apply if they meet the criteria, but each school must submit an application that is specific to its needs.
Private, parochial, independent, and home schools are not eligible. Charter schools can apply if they are publicly funded.
The public middle or high school library must be located in the United States, with one staff position being held by a certified school librarian. The jury may take the school’s geographic location into consideration when determining grant awards.
If the school does not have a certified school librarian on campus staff, the applicant can still apply if there is a certified school librarian available at the district or regional level who will work with the applicant on the selection of materials/equipment to be purchased. Regional level may include service centers or equivalent, university faculty, or staff of neighboring school districts.
The school and/or the certified school librarian do not have to be a member of ALA, AASL, or any other ALA division to apply; however, the jury may take membership into consideration when determining grant awards.
An applicant can apply for both the Inspire Disaster Relief Fund and the Dollar General Beyond Words School Library Relief Fund provided the applicant is not seeking financial support for the same purpose or loss.
Funds can be used to replace or supplement books, media, and/or library equipment. Funds can be used to purchase materials that are pre-processed when they come from the vendor. Funds may not be used to fund salary costs for processing. Funds may be used to purchase audio-visual materials, which may include but not be limited to videotapes, DVDs, CDs, pictures, audiobooks, e-books, computer software, etc. Funds may be used to purchase equipment used in the programming/operations of the library. Funds cannot be used for furniture, shelving or to establish or supplement classroom collections.
Institutions represented by Welmers/AASL Inspire Disaster Relief Fund Jury can be eligible to apply, but committee members must recuse themselves from the discussion and voting or decline if they have a conflict of interest.
The application includes a two-page narrative that allows the applicant to describe their need and how they will use the funds. The following documentation is required with the two-page narrative: a project plan that includes a timeline, the number of students the grant will reach, a list of key staff involved in the grant plus a short biography of each, and an itemized budget.
The recipient must agree to deliver a final report within twelve months of receipt of the grant money. If photographs or images are part of the report, the school must include digital copies (300 dpi images or higher) of all release-signed photographs. These reports can be posted, with permission of the recipient, to the AASL website, and to any other ALA website/webpage or ALA publication as requested by ALA.
By becoming a recipient, the middle or high school library enters into an agreement with AASL. As a recipient, it is expected that the applicant complete the following:
- The program is to satisfy the need to replace or supplement books, media, and/or library equipment in the school library setting.
It is expected that a certified school librarian at the campus, district, or regional level be involved in the selection or materials/equipment to be purchased.
The school principal must agree to submission of the Inspire Disaster Relief Fund. The Fund does not require that the district, the county, the state, or any other agency approve the application. AASL encourages the school to check with the district office regarding any pertinent grant application policies or regulations it may have.
Within one year of receiving a grant, recipients are required to submit a report describing how this grant impacted the school library program. The report should include receipts on how the funds were allocated. If photographs or images are part of the project, the report must include digital copies of all release-signed photographs. (These reports could be posted, with permission of the recipient, on the AASL website, and on any other ALA website/webpage or ALA publication as requested by ALA.)
Grant recipients must spend grant funds within 180 days of receipt.
The Inspire Disaster Recovery Fund Jury will evaluate the applicant based on the following criteria:
- The quality of the benefits this grant will bring to the community.
A project plan that includes a timeline, budget, and clarity of purpose.
Rankings based on a rubric that correlates with the ratings sheet.
Deputy Executive Director