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2023 Library Improvement Grants

In 2023 the Nebraska Library Commission will award federal funds to libraries through a competitive grant process. These funds are provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, with funds administered through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

To learn more, watch the recording of the October 19 NCompass Live webinar, NLC Grants for 2023 (1 hour, 25 minutes).


The purpose of the Library Improvement Grants is to facilitate growth and development of library programs and services in Nebraska public and institutional libraries, by supplementing local funding with federal funds designated for these purposes.

In keeping with the goals of the Library Services and Technology Act, these Library Improvement Grants are intended to help libraries meet the goals of the Nebraska Library Commission LSTA Five-Year Plan 2023-2027. In order to be funded projects must meet one or more of the following "LSTA Purposes":

  • Facilitate access to resources . . . for the purpose of cultivating an educated and informed citizenry;
  • Encourage resource sharing among . . . libraries for the purpose of achieving economical and efficient delivery of library services to the public;
  • Promote literacy, education, and lifelong learning and to enhance and expand the services and resources provided by libraries, including those services and resources relating to workforce development, 21st century skills, and digital literacy skills;
  • Ensure the preservation of knowledge and library collections in all formats and to enable libraries to serve their communities during disasters;
  • Promote library services that provide users with access to information through national, state, local, regional, and international collaborations and networks.
For more information, see the Nebraska Library Commission LSTA Sub-Grant Policies and Procedures Manual.


Other organizations can partner with an eligible entity for purposes of submitting a grant application for a collaborative project.


Online applications will be accepted through 11:59 PM (CT) on November 18, 2022.

Recipients will be announced by December 31 16, 2022.

Grant funds must be requested no later than August 15, 2023, and expended by September 30, 2023.
The final completion report must be submitted to NLC no later than November 1, 2023


  • Food and beverages for workshops, meetings, or open houses;
  • Sales tax;
  • Construction/remodel costs (See Notes on Construction/Installation Costs below);
  • Buying computer hardware by public or school libraries unless the library is CIPA compliant, which requires filtering;
  • “Entertainment” for a program that is not educational in nature;
  • Give-away or promotional items – key chains, refrigerator magnets, T-shirts, mugs, pens, etc.;
  • No built-in furniture (shelving, for example) may be purchased with LSTA funds. All equipment purchased must be movable/non-fixed;
  • Advocacy, lobbying and “influencing” related to a yes/no vote;
  • Social activities, alcoholic beverages and entertainment costs (e.g., tickets and travel to shows or sporting events); and
  • Public relations or advertising of general library services — although you may and are encouraged to do public relations for specific services or programs you are providing using LSTA funds. Examples: Not allowed: “Come to the library, it’s a great place to learn.” Allowed: “Come to the library’s information literacy program and learn how to search the databases provided with LSTA funds.”

Generally, construction and installation costs are not allowable expenses. Projects that involve outside contractors or construction trades are not allowable expenses.

IMLS does allow what they call “construction-lite.” If installation can be done by library staff with minimal tools (e.g. drill and screwdriver), then that would be an allowable cost/project.

But, if the project involves hiring someone from the construction trades (e.g. electrician) to come in to do installation (e.g. running either electrical wiring or Ethernet cables), then that would be an unallowable cost/project.

For more information, see 2 CFR 225 – Cost Principles and IMLS Tip Sheet on Allowable Costs


Final reports should include any outputs (if available, how many people attended, how many items purchased, etc.), but also address how the project has achieved its intended outcomes, or the impact of the project on the community.

Copies of all final paid invoices for purchases made with the Library Improvement Grant funds must be submitted to complete the grant. Invoices should be sent to Christa Porter at NLC via email, fax, or postal mail.

Qualitative evidence of the project’s impact, such as photos and stories from customers and staff, should be provided if available.


  • Grants require at least a twenty-five percent (25%) local match, of which at least 10% must be a cash match.
  • Libraries should still be supported through consistent local government funding. These payments are not intended to replace local funds for the library, but are granted to provide for enhanced services over and above those provided through local funding. Libraries should be aware that continued local support is an essential component of state aid eligibility, as well as maintenance of effort requirements for state aid.
  • Grant recipients must meet all requirements outlined in the grant award documents. This includes crediting the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Nebraska Library Commission when undertaking and promoting grant-supported activities by including the following statement in all published materials:

    This project is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.

  • CIPA COMPLIANCE: Projects which provide access to the Internet require compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA); this means Internet access must be filtered, as required by the federal LSTA funding. CIPA compliance is required when using these federal funds to purchase internet access or any device that provides access to the internet, such as: desktop, laptop, and tablet computers; hotspots and pre-paid service plans; WiFi routers; network boosters; WiFi access points, extenders, and repeaters; WiFi kiosks (to bring the WiFi to public spaces outside the library); and WiFi-enabled charging station for devices.
    For CIPA FAQ's, see ALA's An Update on Filtering. For specific questions, contact Christa Porter, State E-Rate Coordinator for Public Libraries.
    • For grant proposals involving access to the Internet or Internet-related projects, libraries must provide an Internet Safety Certification, which is included in the Library Improvement Grant application.
  • In order to receive LSTA funding, you must provide NLC with a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), as required by the federal government. Look up the UEI for your Entity (your library or municipality), Register Your Entity for the first time, or request a Unique Entity ID (UEI) at 
  • Grant recipients must follow the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 with regard to technology. Please review IMLS Advisory: E-books Reader Lending Programs, and note that IMLS encourages libraries to keep these laws in mind when acquiring new public access technologies.
  • Compliance with the provisions of the NLC LSTA sub-grant manual is required, including compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws, and access for persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency.


Library Improvement Grant 2023 Application
- deadline to submit: November 18, 2022.

Library Improvement Grant 2023 Completion Report - due November 1, 2023.


For questions, contact Christa Porter, Library Development Director.

Grant Recipients Database

For more information, contact Christa Porter.