Relief Programs for Libraries and Museums

We know many libraries are facing budget cuts and feeling impacts related to COVID-19. We wanted to put together some resources for funding and relief programs for libraries and museums.

At ByWater Solutions, we support libraries of all types- museum, special, law, public, academic, and school- from all over the world. Here are resources we complied (mainly for institutions in the United States):

American Library Association COVID Library Relief Fund

The American Library Association COVID LIbrary Relief Fund is accepting applications from public, school, academic, and tribal libraries until May 20, 2021.

The Fund has 1.25 million dollars and will provide grants between $30,000 and $50,0000 to libraries/library systems/districts that have seen a substantial reduction in funding that impacts their ability to provide essential services to underserved populations in low to moderate income groups. They expect to award between 25-35 grants.

Funds will be sent July 1st (after a June 23rd announcement of winners) to be used from July 1st - December 31st. The funds can be used for a wide range of library needs- including technology, equipment, and collections.

To find out more about the grant application and how to apply:

To watch the recorded Q&A Webinar on the program:

American Rescue Plan Act

The 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law by President Biden March 11, 2021 and provided $200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as well as billions of other dollars that libraries can access from other relief programs.

The American Library Association put out information on the American Rescue Plan here:

The American Libraries Magazine published the article "What the American Rescue Plan Act Means for Libraries" on March 12, 2021.

The ALA also put together a State Guide for Aid related to the American Rescue Plan Act.

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) offers a number of grant opportunities for libraries and museums:

The IMLS released a State Allotment Table to show the distribution of the $200 million in funds that they received from the American Rescue Plan Act. They are currently working with state library organizations to determine plans for distribution of these funds.

Check with your state library to see how each state is handling these funds and for other local opportunities for COVID-19 and other relief programs.

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Almost all of our staff at ByWater Solutions have worked in libraries and are familiar with the budget constraints libraries experience year to year. Working closely with our library partners, we understand first-hand the impact that COVID-19 has had on libraries and their communities. We want to help in any way we can and believe that libraries and their patrons deserve modern and easy to use technologies, with excellent back-end support, at fair and reasonable prices.

Other Related Reads:

How to Protect your Budget in a Pandemic and Recession by Nate Curulla

How Libraries Have Met (And Exceeded) the Challenges of 2020 by Kalleen Marquise

Read more by Kalleen Marquise

Tags COVID-19, Budgets