Library Improvement and Innovation Grant

The Library Improvement and Innovation Grant Program is designed to provide opportunities for Bridges Library System 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.

In 2022, Bridges will award 3 competitive grants in the amount of $2,500 each, as well as noncompetitive block grants.  Libraries will be broken into groups by population for each of these; the groups can be found here.

Block Grant

Application Form due by May 1, 2022.

Applications can be written for Accessibility, Technology or Marketing projects and will be reviewed as they are submitted.

Reimbursement form due by December 1, 2022.

Evaluation form due by February 28, 2023.

Competitive Grant

Application form due by March 15, 2022.

Award announcement by April 1, 2022.

Reimbursement form due by December 1, 2022.

Evaluation form due by February 28 each year for previous year’s grant project. Competitive grants are evaluated on the attached criteria.


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

* It is recommended that libraries make one reimbursement request for all grant expenditures in one reimbursement submission.  Please supply a cover sheet listing the detail of the receipts submitted and total the request for reimbursement. 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 for Competitive Grants

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.