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2024 Library Improvement Grants

In 2024 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 about the upcoming 2024 grants,watch the recording of the September 20 NCompass Live webinar, NLC Grants for 2024.


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 open on September 15, 2023 and be accepted through 11:59 PM (CT) on November 17, 2023.

Recipients will be announced by December 31, 2023.

Purchases made after September 15, 2023 are eligible for reimbursement. Grant funds must be requested no later than August 15, 2024, and expended by September 30, 2024.
The final completion report must be submitted to NLC no later than November 1, 2024


  • 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.”

Per IMLS rules, anything that is permanently affixed to the building structure and not removeable are capital improvements and are generally not allowable expenses. Projects that involve outside contractors or construction trades to come in to do installation are not allowable expenses. If the 'installation' is paid for from another source or completed with volunteers, the entire project is still an unallowable cost.

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

For example, if installing security cameras requires rewiring done by electricians, or Ethernet cables to be run, the entire project is unallowable. But, if the security cameras use wi-fi and just need to be screwed into the wall by library/village staff, then they are allowable (e.g Wyze or Ring cameras).

Also, if installation can be its own project, and the items are not dependent on the installation, then the items are allowable. For example, a project to create an outdoor patio space: installing the pavers, pouring the concrete, etc.: not allowable. But, the tables/chairs/pergola etc. that will sit on the patio, and are free-standing / moveable / 'construction-lite': allowable cost.

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 local match of twenty-five percent (25%) of the total project amount. At least 10% must be a cash match. The remaining 15% of the local match can be in-kind costs and/or additional cash.
  • 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.
  • All equipment with a unit cost over $5,000 must be pre-approved by NLC (NLC must have approval from IMLS).
  • 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 information on CIPA, see the NLC's CIPA & Filtering page. The NLC offers a DNS filtering solution to Nebraska's public libraries, providing the Internet filtering technology required for CIPA compliance. 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 2024 Application - opened September 15, 2023. Deadline to submit: November 17, 2023.

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.