National Science Foundation, Endowment for the Humanities Announce Grant Opportunities for Rural Libraries

If, like 77% of American libraries, your branch serves a predominantly rural population (i.e., with a population under 25,000), several recently announced grant opportunities may be of interest to you!

National Science Foundation “Pushing the Limit” Programming Grant

If your Friends group represents a small and rural Minnesota library looking to bolster its Adult programming offerings in the S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields, the National Science Foundation wants to work with you!

Last year, in a special pilot program, the Foundation and its partners collaborated with 20 libraries throughout the country to bring adult science programming to the masses. This year, organizers want to roll out something similar at 75 more institutions.

Details may vary considerably by location and according community interest. To apply, all you need is a scientific theme, the kernel of an idea, and the cooperation of a local science professional or teacher (who will help library staff conduct the program). If your library is chosen, you will receive $2,500 toward expenses, curriculum development support from National Science Foundation partners, free materials, and comprehensive online training for library staff and volunteers.

Applications are due by May 15, 2013. Click here for more information. Click here to jump straight to the application.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Preservation Assistance Grants

Perhaps your library’s most pressing needs at the moment are more in the areas of inventory circulation, preservation or cataloguing than in programming. If so, a Preservation Assistance Grant may be right for you.

The National Endowment for the Humanities awards these annually to help worthy “libraries, museums, [and related institutions] improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. These may include special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine art objects…  historical objects, and digital materials.”

Grants vary in size according to need, as determined by the NEH judging committee.

If you have an ongoing or potential project that fits into the description above, you are strongly encouraged to apply. In the last five competition cycles, NEH received an average of 316 entries each year and, averaged out, provided financial assistance to 113 (a full 36%!) each cycle.

Click here for more information. Feel free to direct any specific questions to, or (202) 606-8570.

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