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ALA COVID Library Relief Fund

Grants to USA Libraries to Support Operations
During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Crisis

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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American Library Association (ALA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

05/20/21 11:59 PM Central Time


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Grants of up to $50,000 to USA and territories public, academic, school, and tribal libraries to support library operations during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. Funding is intended to mitigate the negative financial effects of the pandemic, which has impacted the ability of libraries to serve their community, especially traditionally underserved populations. Grants are to help support library operations, including but not limited to staff time, collections, technology, equipment. Grants are to re-establish, sustain, amplify, or create new needed services, to underserved target audience(s).

The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund will provide grants to libraries/library systems/districts that have seen a substantial reduction in funding that impacts their ability to provide essential services to underserved populations in low to moderate income groups.

Grants are intended to help support library operations and services (in-person, virtual, mobile, outreach, etc.) Funds can be applied but are not exclusive to:

  • Library staff time (direct or indirect, including benefits)
  • Purchase or licensing of needed resources or collections (print and electronic)
  • Technology (e.g. virtual meeting licenses, iPads, Wi-Fi hotspots, etc.)
  • Equipment (for pop-up libraries, etc.)
  • General library operations to extend services

Underserved or underrepresented groups that could be target audiences:

  • Historically disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups
  • Students who are challenged by the Coronavirus pandemic
  • People without equitable information access including limited internet access.
  • People who are unemployed and underemployed
  • Immigrants, refugees, and new Americans
  • Senior citizens
  • People with disabilities
  • People experiencing socioeconomic barriers
  • People experiencing homelessness¬†
  • People geographically isolated
  • Small businesses

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 195590

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

The expectation is that 25-35 grants will be awarded.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Awards will be between $30,000 and $50,0000 in the amounts of $30,000, $35,000, $40,000, $45,000 or $50,000.

Term of Contract:

- Earliest Project Start Date: July 1, 2021
- Project End Date: December 31, 2021

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This opportunity is open to public, academic, school, and tribal libraries in the U.S. and U.S. territories that especially serve traditionally underserved communities. Private school libraries are eligible to apply.

To be eligible, the library should have had at least 5% cut from its budget since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. The library must have experienced significant budget cuts from March 2020 through April 2021, due to 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.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund Information Session | April 22, 2021 at 2:00 PM CT

If you are interested in applying for this grant for your public, school or academic library, ALA invites you to this free one-hour information session on the ALA COVID Library Relief Fund application. The fund and all stages of the application process will be highlighted and questions you might have as you begin or reach the completion of your application will be answered. Register in advance for this webinar here:

Pre-Application Information:

- Application deadline: May 20, 2021, 11:59 pm (Central Time)
- Award notification: June 23, 2021
- Award distributed: July 1, 2021

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.



The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund Information Session | Watch the recording

Webinar Recording:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For questions, please contact the American Library Association (ALA) Chapter Relations Office staff at, or 1-800-545-2433, ext. 2429.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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