Libraries Lead with Digital Skills

Program Requirements & Application Process

Step 1: Design Your Program

We want to support your library to host a community workshop (or series of workshops) that combines the work your library does with PLA and Grow with Google resources in one of two themes:

  • Assist Job Seekers to Find or Prepare for Work. Offer job seekers practical tools and lessons on digital skills that can help them find a job or grow their career. Tell us how you would use Jobs on Google Search to help job seekers more easily find, track, and apply for local jobs or Applied Digital Skills that provides job seekers with specific modules such as Create a Résumé. The full suite of Grow with Google resources for job seekers is available at Grow with Google: For Job Seekers and Students.
  • Empower Small Businesses to Grow Online. Help small business owners in your community grow online, and provide them with the digital tools they need to turn ideas into reality. Tell us how you can use the get-started guides, presentation decks, and outreach materials in Grow With Google Partners Program, Applied Digital Skills lessons such as Preparing a Business Plan, or the Primer app with 3–5 minutes lessons for small business to learn about digital marketing on the go. The full suite of Grow with Google resources for small businesses is available at Grow with Google: For Local Businesses.

Step 2: Understand Your Expectations as a Grantee

In order to be eligible for funding, your library must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a public library located in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.
  • Host a workshop, event, or program at your library to assist job seekers or empower small businesses with digital skills within 60 days of receiving your acceptance notification.
  • The program must be free of all costs (including deposits) for participants.
  • Include one of the Grow with Google programs in your event.
  • Engage local media and post about your event on social media (before, during, and/or after) using the tags: #LibrariesLead, #GrowWithGoogle, @ALAlibrary.
  • To contribute to the program’s impact on the library profession, you agree to create at least one deliverable such as a blog post, journal article, conference presentation, or video about the implementation of the library’s program so that others in the field can benefit.
  • Submit your completed program recap one week after holding your event.

Step 3: Submit Your Application

When your state’s application opens, submit your program idea—we can’t wait to learn from you!

What Happens Next?

Step 4: Receive Pre-Approval

  • Approximately two weeks after your state’s application process closes, you will be notified if you are pre-approved to receive a $1,000 grant. Pre-approval will be sent by email and you will not receive funding until after your program is complete and your program recap is submitted.
  • If more applications are received than funding allows, one library per system will be prioritized based on application score.
  • ALA and PLA will fund 5–25 libraries in each state.

Step 5: Host Your Program Within 60 Days of Notification of Pre-Approval

  • Review the Event-in-a-Box resources and communications assets to use to develop and market your program.
  • The Libraries Lead with Digital Skills team will host a virtual community of practice session with recipients of the funding in order to share ideas, and clarify program requirements, and answer any questions.

Step 6: Submit Your Program Recap to Receive Funding

  • Review the recap questions and gather supporting metrics to support your evaluation.
  • You will submit your program recap to PLA within one week of completing your program.

Bonus Round: Additional $3,000 for Select Libraries!

Once recaps are received, all grantee libraries will be entered into a secondary selection process based on the effectiveness and impact of the programs they implemented, with the goal of rewarding at least one library in each state with an additional $3,000 (for a total of $4,000), and additional opportunities for ALA, PLA, and Google to promote your library’s program as a best practice.

Questions regarding the application and process should be directed to the Libraries Lead Team at