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Grants for Public Libraries

Information on LSTA grants and other funding opportunities.

Maryland Library Association and Staff Development Grants

2022, New this year: Staff Development Grants have been combined with the Maryland Library Association 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, 2022 - June 30, 2023.

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
  • Only for food included as part of the conference, not for any food outside of the conference
  • 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.

Maryland Library Association and Delaware Library Association Conference

Most years, MSLA offers funds for public libraries to send staff to the Maryland Library Association and Delaware Library Association Conference in Cambridge, Maryland. 

This year (2021-2022), the Maryland State Library Agency is combining the Staff Development grant and the MLA Conference Grant Awards to make the grant process a little easier to administer for everyone. MLA is scheduled to take place in person May 4-6, 2022. All SD-MLA Grants have been awarded and are housed on the new MSL grants portal.

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


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