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Grants for Public Libraries

Information on LSTA grants and other funding opportunities.

Staff Development Grants

2021, New this year: Staff Development Grants have been combined with the MLA Conference Grants and there will be no grant application. Funding has been determined by averaging previous SD Awards with the average of the past couple of years of MLA grant awards.

The grant period is from July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022.

What Can Staff Development funds be used for?

Staff Development grants are awarded on a formula basis by the number of staff in a county library system. These funds may be used for:

  • Staff to pursue continuing studies classes in pursuit of a degree
  • Registration & conference fees for library staff as well as travel & hotel
  • Paying outside speakers to come into libraries to train staff
  • Paying for webinars or other online training
  • Books and other collection materials that support staff development

Staff Development - Unallowable Costs

Per our federal grantor the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Staff Development funds may not be used to pay for individual professional memberships such as ALA or MLA. Staff Development funds may be used to pay for institutional memberships. You can read guidance directly from IMLS here.

How to Submit for Reimbursement of Staff Development funds:

For all reimbursements, please include:

The title, date, and location of the conference or training as well as the number of staff who participated. For example, "3 staff, Technology Librarians Conference, July 30, 2021, Sante Fe, NM."

Reimbursements submitted without full detail will be denied. The grant liaison who denies your reimbursement will contact you via phone or email and let you know what you can do to correct your submission. 

Interim and Final Reports

Interim and final reports are required for all Staff Development grants. Even if your library system has not spent any funds by the time the interim report is due, you still need to fill out the interim report to reflect this information. The interim report is an important part of "checking in" with sub-grantees (Maryland public libraries) to make sure that the grant is on track and will be completed by the deadlines.


This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.