IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries
Slots: An eligible organization may submit only one application under this announcement.
Internal Deadline: Monday, May 25th, 2020, noon PT
External Deadline: June 12, 2020, noon PT
Award Information: Type: Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 90
Anticipated Amount: $25,000-$500,000
Link to Award: https://www.imls.gov/grants/available/imls-cares-act-grants-museums-and-libraries
Submission Process: PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal: https://app.wizehive.com/webform/USCgrants.
Materials to submit include:
(1) Single Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). Page limit includes references and illustrations. Pages that exceed the 1-page limit will be excluded from review.
(2) CV – (5 pages maximum)
Who May Serve as PI: Please see below for more information about the museum or library entities that can apply.
To be eligible as a Museum Entity, you must be an organization that meets all three of the following criteria:
- You must be either a unit of State, local, or tribal government or be a private, nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code;
- You must be located in one of the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau; and
- You must qualify as one of the following:
(a) A museum that, using a professional staff, is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational, cultural heritage, or aesthetic purposes; owns or uses tangible objects, either animate or inanimate; cares for these objects; and exhibits these objects to the general public on a regular basis through facilities that it owns or operates.
“Museums” include, but are not limited to, aquariums, arboretums, art museums, botanical gardens, children’s/youth museums, general museums (those having two or more significant disciplines), historic houses/sites, history museums, natural history/anthropology museums, nature centers, planetariums, science/technology centers, specialized museums (limited to a single distinct subject), and zoological parks.
An institution uses a professional staff if it employs at least one staff member, or the full-time equivalent, whether paid or unpaid, primarily engaged in the acquisition, care, or exhibition to the public of objects owned or used by the institution.
An institution exhibits objects to the general public if such exhibition is a primary purpose of the institution. An institution that exhibits objects to the general public for at least 120 days a year is deemed to exhibit objects to the general public on a regular basis.
An institution which does not have the exhibition of objects as a primary purpose and/or does not exhibit objects to the public for at least 120 days a year may be determined to be eligible as a museum under certain circumstances. For more information, please see 2 C.F.R. § 3187.3.
(b) An organization or association that engages in activities designed to advance the wellbeing of museums and the museum profession;
(c) An institution of higher education, including public and nonprofit universities; or
(d) A public or private nonprofit agency that is responsible for the operation of a museum that meets the eligibility criteria in 1, 2, and 3(a) above may apply on behalf of the museum.
If my museum is located within a parent organization, can my museum apply on its own?
A museum located within a parent organization that is a State, local, or tribal government or multipurpose nonprofit entity, such as a municipality, university, historical society, foundation, or cultural center, may apply on its own behalf if the museum:
- is able to independently fulfill all the eligibility requirements listed in the above three criteria;
- functions as a discrete unit within the parent organization;
- has its own fully segregated and itemized operating budget; and
- has the authority to make the application on its own.
When any of the last three conditions cannot be met, a museum may only apply through its parent organization.
To be eligible as a Library Entity, you must:
- be either a unit of State or local government or be a private, nonprofit organization that has nonprofit status under the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, and
- be located in one of the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau
In addition, you must qualify as one of the following six types of organizations:
- A library or a parent organization, such as a school district, a municipality, a State agency, or an academic institution, that is responsible for the administration of a library. Eligible libraries include: (a) Public libraries
(b) Public elementary and secondary school libraries
(c) College (including community college) and university libraries
(d) Research libraries and archives that are not an integral part of an institution of higher education and that make publicly available library services and materials that are suitable for scholarly research and not otherwise available. Research libraries must be under the supervision of at least one permanent professional staff librarian and must be either generally recognized as possessing unique, scholarly research materials and services that are made available to the public, or able to demonstrate that such is the case when submitting an application to IMLS. (e) Private or other special library, but only if the State in which such private or special library is located determines that the library should be considered a library for purposes of Library Services and Technology (see 20 U.S.C. § 9121-9165)
- An academic or administrative unit, such as a graduate school of library and information science that is part of an institution of higher education through which it would make application;
- A digital library, if it makes library materials publicly available and provides library services, including selection, organization, description, reference, and preservation, under the supervision of at least one permanent professional staff librarian;
- A library agency that is an official agency of a State or other unit of government and is charged by the law governing it with the extension and development of public library services within its jurisdiction;
- A library consortium that is a local, statewide, regional, interstate, or international cooperative association of library entities that provides for the systematic and effective coordination of the resources of eligible libraries, as defined above, and information centers that work to improve the services delivered to the clientele of these libraries; or
- A library association that exists on a permanent basis; serves libraries or library professionals on a national, regional, State, or local level; and engages in activities designed to advance the well-being of libraries and the library profession.
Native American tribal organizations may apply if they otherwise meet the above eligibility requirements.
Purpose: IMLS recognizes the challenges facing museums and libraries at this time, including the adaptations and adjustments that will be necessary to rebuild staffing, reopen facilities, and address the needs of communities affected by the impact of a global crisis.
The goal of this grant program is to support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic in ways that meet the immediate and future COVID-19 needs of the communities and audiences they serve.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Pub. L. 116-136 [March 27, 2020]) has provided funds to the Institute of Museum and Library Services “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus…to expand digital network access, purchase internet accessible devices, and provide technical support services” for the benefit of communities impacted by the public health emergency.
The IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries grant program invites project proposals that focus on preserving jobs, training staff, addressing the digital divide, planning for reopening, and providing technical support and capacity building for digital inclusion and engagement while prioritizing services for high-need communities. We encourage efforts to develop programs, tools, models, partnerships, and other resources that will address immediate concerns and have the potential to inspire and benefit museums and libraries throughout the nation.
What are high-need communities?
To reflect the priorities outlined in the CARES Act, we ask applicants addressing digital inclusion and related technical support needed by their communities or target audiences to design their projects using the following types of data:
(1) Economic Indicators, including but not limited to:
- Poverty rates
- Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP) participation rates
- Unemployment rates
(2) Broadband availability and adoption
Budgetary Requirements: Cost sharing is not required for the IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries grant program and will not be considered in the evaluation.
While not required, any cost sharing that appears in your project budget should be carefully calculated. Grantees are expected to meet their cost share commitments.
Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for more updates and other announcements.