Library Improvement and Innovation Grant

Application form (due by August 1, 2018)

Reimbursement form (due by December 1, 2018)

Evaluation form (due by February 28 each year for previous year’s grant project)

Grant Amount (Budget Information: 2018 Library System Grants to Libraries)

The Library Improvement and Innovation Grant Program is designed to provide opportunities for member libraries to improve or introduce innovation. Even though the grant amount is not necessarily large, efforts to think big are encouraged! The grant is not intended to offset ordinary operating expenditures. Please be mindful of sustainability in your plan.


* Plans for the use of the grant funding are required and due by August 1 via the online application form. One plan per library.

* All plans will be approved by Mellanie Mercier as soon as possible–definitely within three weeks of receipt. Please don’t make any expenditures until you have official approval. Receipts dated prior to grant approval will not be approved for payment.

* Any changes to the plan while the grant is in progress must be approved by Mellanie prior to the request for reimbursement.

* It is recommended that libraries make one reimbursement request for all grant expenditures in one reimbursement submission. Please use the online reimbursement form. If receiving reimbursements is problematic, Bridges will pay a maximum of three vendors on your behalf.

* Reimbursements/payments are made based on invoices, not orders.

* All reimbursement/payments are due by December 1 without exception.

* An evaluation of the project is due by February 28 of the following year. Please use the online evaluation form. 

Examples of Qualifying Uses of Grant Funding

These are examples to get you thinking; the list below is not all-inclusive.

* Purchase equipment or furniture for the library.

* Send staff to a training or opportunity that advances their learning. If you plan is to increase your staff professional development opportunities for the year, you can send multiple people to multiple events throughout the year and ask for reimbursement to the library by the December 1 deadline.

* Fund a library staff in-service learning opportunity.

* Have library handouts translated into multiple languages.

* Upgrade technology infrastructure.

* Fund new types of programs, for example a coding workshop or bi-lingual storytime.

* Use the funds as seed money for a new initiative, such as a maker space area or a creative lab.

* Develop a marketing plan and have items created and printed (e.g. logo, letterhead, website).

* Install a handicap accessible door in the entryway of your library.

* Improve the library’s website, making it more accessible or easier to keep up-to-date.

* Create/run an ad campaign.

* Contract with a jobs expert to assist job-seekers.

* Purchase mobile wi-fi devices.

* Purchase a special collection of items.

* Purchase hardware/software that improves efficiency in the library or allows patrons self-service options.

* Purchase a database or access to e-content.

* Digitize local content.