ALA COVID Library Relief Fund - Guidelines

Guidelines- ALA COVID Library Relief Fund

Date Posted: March 16, 2022
Deadline for Submission: April 21, 2022 by 11:59 pm Central Time (CT)
Award Notification Date: June 1, 2022

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. 2429

Grant Description

The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund will assist public, school, academic, tribal, and correctional libraries across the United States and US Territories that have experienced substantial economic hardship due the coronavirus pandemic, which has impacted their ability to serve their community, especially traditionally underserved populations.

The Fund has 1.55 million dollars and will provide grants of $20,000 to libraries/library systems/districts that have seen a substantial reduction in funding that has and will continue to impact their ability to provide essential services through December 31, 2022.

APPLICATIONS deadline is April 21, 2022 by 11:59 pm Central Time (CT)

Grants will be announced on June 1, 2022.

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 systems (municipal, county, district) and library school districts can submit only one application per system or district, however the application can request support for one or more library and/or one or more target audience across a system/district.


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. Application Template by Library Type
  10. Points of Contact


  • This opportunity is open to school, public, school, academic, tribal, and correctional libraries that especially serve traditionally underserved communities.
  • The library must have experienced significant budget cuts from start of the pandemic in March 2020 through April 2022. The pandemic and these cuts must have impacted the ability of the library to serve their community.
  • Individuals and non-library entities are not eligible for funding. Previous ALA COVID Library Relief grantees are ineligible for this round of grants.
  • Late, incomplete, and ineligible applications will not be reviewed.


Award Information

Libraries in the five library types will be awarded grants.  Awards will be $20,000 for up to 77 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 September 10, 2022 and November 10, 2022.
•    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.
•    Submit a comprehensive final report to ALA with project accomplishments, evaluation findings, outcomes, and use of funds by January 20, 2023.

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

ALA will accept applications between March 16, 2022 and April 21, 2022 (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 systems (municipal, county, district) and library school districts can submit only one application per system or district, but the application can request support for one or more library and /or one or more target audience across your system/district.

You may save and return and edit your application using the ‘Save and Close’ Button’ up until you hit the ‘Submit’ button. 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 providing the two required attachments. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on April 21, 2022. Applications submitted after that time will be considered ineligible.


Required Attachments

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

2) Signed Certificate of Assurance-

The Statement of Assurance is required for your application.  Three names and signatures are required.

  1. The Authorized Representative is whoever has the authority to sign contracts for the applicant library/institution, such as the Library Director, Dean or District Coordinator.
  2. The Grant Coordinator is responsible for managing the grant on behalf of the library and corresponding with ALA. If same as Authorized representative must sign assurance twice.
  3. The Fiduciary/Fiscal Agent Representative must be a separate person from the Authorized Representative.  Someone who has authority/responsibility over providing funding/oversight of funding of the library -City Manager, County CFO, School Business Manager, College CFO, Tribal CFO, Library District Finance Officer/Treasurer.]

Download the full statement to be signed sign and attach to your application. If you have any issues downloading the file please email


Regardless of who fills out the application signatures are required by

    1. Authorized representative for the library (library director, etc.)
    2. Grant coordinator (could be same as authorized representative)
    3. Fiduciary/fiscal agent representative (city finance officer, district board treasurer, etc.) who is different than the authorized representative.

Application Review

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • The budget cuts and 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 and 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 Covid Library Relief Committee. The Committee consists of two co-chairs and seven other members representing all the library types eligible for funding.


Grant Administration Information

Application deadline: April 21, 2022 11:59 pm (Central Time)

Award notification: June 1, 2022

Award distributed: June 10, 2022

Earliest Project Start Date: June 1, 2022

Project End Date: December 31, 2022

Final Report Due: January 20, 2023

Application Template by Library Type (Questions for each library type. Actual application must be filled out online)


Points of Contact

If you have questions about the application, contact:
Chapter Relations Office
American Library Association
1-800-545-2433, ext. 2429


Return to ALA COVID Library Relief Fund homepage