ALA to distribute $2 million in humanities funding to libraries as part of NEH American Rescue Plan

For Immediate Release
Tue, 10/05/2021


Hannah Arata

Communications Associate

Public Programs Office

American Library Association

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) invites libraries to apply for funding through its American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries opportunity, a grantmaking program to deliver relief to libraries recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, ALA will distribute $2 million to help anchor libraries as strong humanities institutions as they emerge and rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic. The purpose of this emergency relief program is to assist libraries that have been adversely affected by the pandemic and require support to restore and sustain their core activities.

Up to 200 U.S. libraries of all types (e.g., public, tribal, K-12, academic, special, prison) and representing a broad range of communities will receive $10,000 through a competitive, peer-reviewed application process. Register for a free webinar to learn about the application process.

ALA will accept applications from October 5 to December 2, 2021. Learn more and apply online.

“Libraries have the potential and unique positionality to help Americans realize their highest visions of themselves — to think critically and ask big questions about the world and our place in it,” said ALA President Patty Wong. “ALA is deeply grateful to the NEH for recognizing libraries’ unique importance as incubators for the humanities and providing this funding to help libraries meet our communities’ cultural needs.”

Selected libraries will receive:

The general goals of this ARP opportunity include to help create or preserve jobs; support or maintain general operations; create or sustain humanities programs, and implement new humanities activities or sustain existing activities.

Eligible expenses include salary and benefit support for library workers engaged in humanities activities; costs related to in-person or virtual humanities programming, such as book clubs and guest lectures; and marketing and advertising to support library humanities efforts.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at