Skip To Talking Book & Braille Service Content Skip Navigation

Youth Grants for Excellence - 2013

Introduction to the Grants Program

What is the Youth Grants for Excellence Program?
The Nebraska Library Commission has made funding available specifically for innovative projects for children and young adults in accredited public libraries and state-run institutional libraries in Nebraska. The program is designed to encourage creative thinking, risk-taking and new approaches to address problems and needs of children and young adults in your community. Grant awards enable youth librarians to begin needed programs and try projects which they have been unable to undertake. The grants also offer an opportunity to expand youth service capabilities in new and different directions. It is also expected that the funding will provide a foundation for ongoing rather than one-time services, which can be continued with community support or through a reallocation of library funds.

Once again this year there are two different application forms. For projects requesting $250 - $1,000 in grant funds use the abbreviated, or short, form (see below). For projects requesting more than $1,000 use the longer form (see below). Please be sure to use the correct form for your project.

When is the grant application due?

October 31, 2013. Applications must be received by the Nebraska Library Commission with the postmarked date no later than October 31, 2013 or submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. CT on October 31, 2013. Faxes will not be accepted. You will be notified by November 27, 2013 if you are awarded a grant. The signature page and print support materials (e.g., catalog page or computer printout displaying item intended for purchase, list of books and/or materials for purchase, estimates from suppliers, letters from project partners, etc.) may be submitted during the week following the due date.

Who is eligible to apply?
Any children's librarian, young adult librarian, or adult librarian (in an accredited public library or a state-run institutional library) in charge of children's or young adult services and system administrators may apply. Schools, service agencies, and/or organizations may be involved through collaborative planning and programming, thus receiving benefit from this project. Please note that before applying for a Youth Grant for Excellence, if the entity has unresolved issues with any previous Commission grant projects, it will not be eligible to apply.

How much money may we apply for?
Applicants are encouraged to apply for the amount required to implement their ideas successfully. The minimum amount that will be awarded per grant is $250. The grants require a 25% match (see Matching Funds below for details). The $250 minimum grant amount plus the required 25% local match ($84) combine for $334 as the lowest total project amount for a Youth Grant for Excellence. Use the Project Budget Form at the end of the application form to estimate the amount you will need and to itemize specific expenses. You are advised to be as precise and detailed as possible.

Matching Funds
All grants require a local match of 25% of the amount requested (grant amount). Ten percent (10%) of this local match must be in cash. The remaining 15% of the local match can be in-kind costs and/or additional cash. The minimum amount that will be awarded per grant is $250, which means the minimum total project cost will be $334, with your library providing at least $84 (cash and in-kind) for the 25% match required. For in-kind costs, if an applicant is going to use staffing resources as part of the local match, the staffing resources must be dedicated to the project. Other in-kind costs such as the printing of brochures for an event could also count toward the 15% local match. Please note: the cash match can also be contributed by the local library's friends group, foundation, a local donor, or any other source outside the library.

What will not be allowed with the Youth Grants for Excellence?
The purchase of furniture or food with grant funds is not allowed. Applications that request funds for collection development rather than focusing on purchases for a particular program or goal will be denied. In general, the purchase of computer equipment is not allowed.  This means that computer equipment or technology that is going to be used for circulation, general Internet access, etc. as part of the library's regular services would not be considered.  However, computer equipment and/or technology which is necessary for specific youth programs or services and without which such programs or services would not be possible, will be considered.  Contact Sally Snyder if you have questions. Grant funds may not be used for payment of salary or wages for permanent library staff.  AWE work stations, or similar stations of other companies, are allowed.

What is required with the Youth Grants for Excellence?

  • A brief statement of the need for the project: Why did you decide to do this project?
  • Details about what you plan to do and how.
  • Each grant project must have at least one program (an event designed for the project, attended by youth, and usually held in the library) for the youth of your community to attend. If you are planning more than one program it will enhance your application.
  • Information about how you will determine the success of the project.
  • Please also look through the Criteria for Grant Awards listed below.

Where can I find help to write my grant application?
For general information, contact Sally Snyder at the Library Commission, email, phone: 800-307-2665 or 402-471-4003. It is also helpful to ask another person not involved in writing the application to take a look at it and give recommendations, for example, your system administrator can provide guidance in grant writing and with your application. You may contact a nearby librarian who has received a grant award in the past to ask for guidance and advice. Show a draft of your application to someone who is not a part of your grant writing process and see what they think (one of your board members, your System Administrator, another library director in your area, Library Commission staff members Richard Miller or Laura Johnson). Links to lists of previous grant recipients are listed below.

When is the report due?
The Youth Grants Final-Project Report Form is due September 12, 2014.

What kind of projects will be eligible for the Youth Grants for Excellence?
Each year that the grants have been offered, categories of service have been targeted that reflect current concerns and emphasis in the area of children's and young adult services. For 2013 the areas of focus are:

  • Encourage Creativity. Your project, for any ages preschool through young adult, will provide the opportunity or opportunities for children or teens to experience the creative process. It can be through drawing, painting, acting, singing, playing an instrument, reader's theatre, writing (prose, poetry, or plays), sculpting, computer-assisted graphics, or any number of other creative outlets.
  • Early Childhood Reading Programs: The second area of focus encourages programs for a selected group of children from birth to five-year-olds to promote reading readiness. Many libraries have lapsit programs for toddlers, for example, to help children improve their pre-literacy skills. Both PLA (Public Library Association) and ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children), divisions of the American Library Association, offer information on a joint program they call Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR). Your library may want to refer to information from PLA and ALSC as it plans its program. See: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/ecrr/index.cfm However, your library's program does not need to follow all aspects of an ECRR program; it can use some of the concepts and adapt them to fit the needs of your own community.

While the areas of focus have priority, you may also apply for a grant in other areas that will benefit children and/or teens and which you see as a need in your community, for example, projects for youth (preschool, elementary school age, or teen) that will:

  • Encourage reading
  • Concentrate on boys and reading
  • Celebrate reading and books
  • Develop character
  • Encourage and celebrate other materials or opportunities for youth at your library
  • Encourage library use by children and/or teens for whom English is a learned language
  • Assist library personnel in their ability to meet the service needs of children and/or teens in their community.

Criteria for Grant Awards

  • Comply with all conditions and instructions included in the application information.
  • The local match amount is at least 25% of the Total Project Budget.
  • The total project cost is appropriate for the scope of the grant. Base your estimates on real costs rather than discounted prices; once the sale is over, the item(s) will be back to the higher price.
  • The project is clearly based on one of the areas of focus or is one that will benefit children and/or teens and which you see as a need in your community, as stated above under the heading "What kinds of projects will be eligible for the Youth Grants for Excellence?"
  • The library director and the library board chair approve the application with signatures.
  • The project includes one or more programs (an event or events designed for the project, attended by youth, and usually held in the library) for the target audience.
  • The project noted on the application is based on specific, identified needs of children or young adults in your community.
  • Materials acquisitions are not requested unless they are critical to the success of the project, and must be part of one or more programs for the target audience as a part of the overall grant project.
  • The project described represents a new effort or an entirely different approach to an existing need or program.
  • The application is filled out completely and clearly.  We now offer only the online application, but if you prefer you are still welcome to write your application in Word, or another word processing program, and email it to Sally Snyder. If appropriate, support materials (e.g., catalog page or computer printout displaying item intended for purchase, list of books and/or materials for purchase, letters from project partners, etc.) may be included as part of the application or sent in during the week following the due date.
  • The applications should include both output and outcome measures by which you will evaluate the success of the project. Output measures are quantitative and include statistics such as number of youth attending programs, books circulated, number of programs held, etc. Outcomes are related to the question of whether or not your effort made a difference and if so, what that difference was. Outcome measures might include changes in attitude or behavior; documentation of knowledge acquired, etc. Some evaluation tools you may choose to use include surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
  • A detailed timeline noting planned dates of significant steps in the implementation of the project is included in the application. Please be precise and include details.
  • The project director agrees, if asked, to make a presentation describing your project at a statewide or regional library system's event for youth librarians or as part of the Nebraska Library Commission's NCompass Live webinars.

* Please note that before anyone can apply for a Youth Grant for Excellence, if the entity has unresolved issues with any previous Commission grant projects, it will not be eligible to apply.

Acknowledgement

All grant recipients are required to acknowledge the State of Nebraska and the Nebraska Library Commission when undertaking and promoting grant-supported activities. Any announcements, public relations pieces, or other communication about the project must use the following statement:" This program is sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission and funded in part with state funds allocated through the Nebraska Legislature."

Exemplary Sample Applications from past Youth Grants for Excellence

Please address any questions, comments, or suggestions to:

Sally Snyder
Nebraska Library Commission
The Atrium
1200 N Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508-2023

Phone: 800-307-2665 or 402-471-4003
E-mail: Sally Snyder

Applications and support materials must be received by the Nebraska Library Commission with the postmarked date no later than October 31, 2013 or submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. CDT on October 31, 2013. Faxes will not be accepted. You will be notified by November 27, 2013 if you are awarded a grant. The signature page and print support materials (e.g., catalog page or computer printout displaying item intended for purchase, list of books and/or materials for purchase, estimates from suppliers, letters from project partners, etc.) may be submitted during the week following the due date.

This project was supported in part by the United States Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provision of the Library Services and Technology Act, and/or state funding appropriated by the Nebraska legislature, granted and administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.


Introduction to the Youth Grants Program Index for Youth Grant Pages

Dates for Youth Grants for Excellence


Youth Grants for Excellence Recipients Final-Project Report Form:

  • Youth Grants Final-Project Report Form (Word version) (PDF version) Due September 12, 2014 for 2013 Youth Grant Recipients
  • Youth Grants Final-Project Report Form (Word version) (PDF version) Due September 10, 2013 for 2012 Youth Grant Recipients

Grant Recipients Database (includes Children's Grants for Excellence 1998-2003 and Youth Grants for Excellence 2004-)