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 within 60 days of receiving your pre-approval notification.
  • The program must be free of all costs (including deposits) for participants.
  • Engage local media and post about your event on social media (before, during, and/or after) using the tags: #LibrariesLead, #GrowWithGoogle, @ALAlibrary.
  • Submit your completed program recap one week after holding your event.
  • Receive prior approval from your library administration to implement your program.

Step 3: Submit Your Application

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

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.

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.

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

All completed recaps within the agreed timeframe will be considered for a secondary selection process to receive a Spotlight Award—an additional $3,000 (for a total of $4,000). Priority will be given to those that have held their programs/events within the 60 day window. If your event was held outside of the 60 day window, you will not be considered for a Spotlight Award.

One or more libraries per state will be selected based on the success and reach of the projects, to participate in additional opportunities for ALA, PLA, and Google to promote your library’s program as a best practice.

PLA will notify you if you are selected to receive this additional award. Questions regarding the application and process should be directed to the Libraries Lead Team at