Building Library Capacity Grants

ALA Library Building Capacity Grants

Guidelines- ALA Library Building Capacity Grants

Deadline for Submission: May 24, 2023, by 11:59 pm Central Time (CT)
Award Notification Date: June 30, 2023

Before starting, read the grant FAQ and carefully review the requirements below in each category for the grant.

For questions, please contact the American Library Association (ALA) Chapter Relations Office staff at or,  1-800-545-2433, ext. 3200

Grant Description

The ALA Building Library Capacity Grants will assist libraries at academic Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) across the United States and US Territories that have experienced economic hardship due the consequences of the pandemic and its aftermath, which has impacted their ability to serve their students, especially traditionally underserved populations.

For 2023, up to sixteen grants of $10,000 each to libraries to increase their capacity to provide essential services through December 31, 2023.

APPLICATIONS deadline is May 24, 2023, by 11:59 pm Central Time (CT)

Grants will be announced on June 30, 2023.

Grants are intended to help sustain library operations, including, but not limited to staff salary (direct or indirect,) materials, technology, and in-person or virtual services. Grants are to re-stablish, sustain, amplify services, or create newly needed services, to underserved or populations in low to moderate income groups.

Library can submit only one application per institution; however, the application can request support for one or more library and/or one or more target audience across an institution.

 Table of Contents

  1. Eligibility
  2. Award Information     
  3. Requirements
  4. Eligible and Ineligible Expenses
  5. Application and Submission Information
  6. Budget and Statement of Assurance
  7. Application Review
  8. Grant Administration Information
  9. Points of Contact


  • This opportunity is open to libraries at academic Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) across the United States and US Territories.
  • The library must have faced/are facing financial challenge due to the pandemic and aftermath that are impacting the ability of the library to serve their community.
  • Individuals and non-library entities are not eligible for funding.
  • Late, incomplete, and ineligible applications will not be reviewed.

 Award Information

Awards of $10,000 for up to sixteen libraries. 


The selected library will be required to:
•    Assign one staff member as the grant coordinator.
•    Assist ALA in promotion of the award locally.
•    Provide interim reports that show how the funds have supported expenses, on October  1, 2023 and November 15, 2023.
•    Carry out evaluations and measure outcomes of the project.
•    Submit in writing to ALA, any significant changes to the proposed plans that were outlined in the application (changes over 5% of total grant budget)
•    Submit a comprehensive final report to ALA with project accomplishments, evaluation findings, outcomes, and use of funds by February 1, 2024.

Eligible Expenses

Eligible expenses may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Staff time (only salaries and benefits. Bonuses are not eligible)
  • Collections
  • Technology
  • Furnishings and Equipment
  • Materials and Supplies
  • Promotion
  • Operation Expenses

Ineligible Expenses

Expenses not connected to the proposed services outlined in the application.

Application and Submission Information

To access the ALA Capacity Building Grants application, log into our grants management system, ALA Apply. Upon logging in, visit the “Apply” Dashboard by clicking on the word Apply” in the upper left corner of the screen.

Please note that ALA Apply requires a login that is separate from ALA member login credentials.

New ALA Apply Users: Visit ALA Apply and click on "Create New Account" to complete the ALA Apply registration process and create your logon credentials. Be sure to keep this login information for your organization’s records. You can learn more about how to use ALA Apply to submit your application on our How to Apply page.

Not sure if you, or your someone at your organization has an ALA Apply account profile? If you think that you or someone at your organization has already registered in the system, do not create a new account. Please contact us at to inquire about an organizational record in ALA Apply.

ALA will accept applications between April 17, 2023, and May 24, 2023 (11:59 PM Central Time)

Application includes:
•    Contact Information
•    Specific library type demographics
•    Budget and staffing questions 
•    Narrative questions
•    Grant Budget descriptions 
•    Statement of Assurance

 Application Submission

Library can submit only one application per institution; however, the application can request support for one or more libraries and/or one or more target audience across a system/district.

You may save and return and edit your application. Once you have submitted your application, you can no longer alter it. The application will then be submitted for committee review. You will receive an email confirming submission of your application.

Make sure you complete all parts of the application, including the budget template. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on May 24, 2023. Applications submitted after that time will not be considered.

 Required Attachments

1) Budget- Please complete the provided itemized budget template and then attach at the end of your application submit where requested.

Application Review

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • The budget impact on library to provide services to the community.
  • Identification of target audience(s) and their needs.
  • Proposed use of grant funds to serve target audiences.
  • Expected outcomes, impacts, and measurements.
  • Budget and alignment of requested items/elements to proposed activities.

 Review and Selection Process

Proposals will be assessed, and awardees selected by the ALA Libraries Building Capacity Review Committee. The Committee consists of co-chairs and at least five other members from populations of MSI’s.

Grant Administration Information

Application deadline: May 24, 2023, 11:59 pm (Central Time)

Award notification: June 30, 203

Award distributed: July 20, 2023

Earliest Project Start Date: July 1, 2023

Project End Date: December 31, 2023

Final Report Due: February 1, 2023

Points of Contact

If you have questions about the application, contact: the American Library Association (ALA) Chapter Relations Office staff at or  1-800-545-2433, ext. 3200