RAILS My Library Is... Grants for School Libraries

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Applications are now closed for the 2022 My Library Is... Grants for School Libraries.

View previous winners of RAILS Partnership and My Library Is... grants

Purpose

In this second round of the My Library Is… Grants for School Libraries, RAILS invites school libraries to develop projects that incorporate principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and to clearly demonstrate the impact these projects will have on their diverse student populations, teachers, parents, and administrators.

Audience

Libraries can choose to work collaboratively (with other libraries, organizations, etc.) or alone. At least one project partner must be a RAILS member and a RAILS school library must be the fiscal agent for the grant application.

Criteria and Evaluation

See the My Library Is... Grant for School Libraries criteria and evaluation rubric.

Funding

Individual awards are limited to $5,000. We will fund up to $50,000 in total awards for the entire grant period. Grants will be awarded, and funds distributed approximately 6-8 weeks after the application deadline.

Statement of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

As part of this grant application, we are asking applicants to consider how their project advances equity, diversity, and inclusion, and meets the diverse needs of their student populations. In developing your application, we ask that you describe the audience that will benefit from the grant project in terms of race, ethnic background, and other factors.

Please note that all applications must include a statement of equity, diversity, & inclusion. Applications without this statement will not be considered.

Video Applications

In lieu of a written description, school libraries may submit a video description of their project. The video must be hosted on a third-party video platform such as YouTube or Vimeo. To apply, simply paste a link to the video in the description section of the application.

Applicants must fill out all other areas of the written application, such as including contact information. Applicants should review the restrictions, conditions, and rubric before developing their video.

Application Deadlines:

2023 grants should be announced by January 2023.

    Examples

    Below are examples of types of projects RAILS is interested in funding. This is not, by any means, an exhaustive list. We welcome creativity and innovation and will consider both in the decision-making process. As mentioned above, all projects must incorporate EDI principles and applicants must demonstrate the impact these projects will have on diverse student audiences.

    • Designing and printing brochures/flyers/handouts that describe the value of the school library
    • Planning a coordinated campaign to promote a library program/service or libraries in general using a variety of different media, including infographics, social media, video, etc.
    • Partnering with other libraries (including libraries of different types) or organizations to develop new and innovative ways to promote library programs/services, such as social media contests or promoting the electronic resources available at the library.
    • Producing videos that show the value of the library or the value of specific school library programs and services.
    • Producing a podcast that brings awareness to the library or the role it places within the school.
    • Work with a marketing consultant to develop marketing collateral such as templates, images, or logos for your library.

    Restrictions

    The following types of projects will not be considered for RAILS' My Library Is... Grants for School Libraries:

    • Individual author visits, book fairs, conference/seminars, or any other one-time events that do not correspond with an ongoing promotional effort.
    • Building projects, vehicles, or purchases of furniture; please note that projects that include promotion/marketing of these materials may be considered, but funds cannot be used for construction costs or the physical materials themselves.
    • Requests for reimbursement of staff-time, wages or salaries.
    • Purchases of alcohol, gifts, or catering for events.

    Grant Conditions

    All conditions must be met to be considered for this award:

    • At least one project partner must be a RAILS school library; the RAILS school library must also be the fiscal agent for the grant application; the fiscal agent will receive the check for any awarded funds
    • The amount requested cannot exceed $5,000.
    • Grant recipients must submit a formal grant report within 30 days after the completion of grant activities. RAILS will provide a template to the primary contact after the grant proposal has been accepted.
    • A copy of relevant invoices must be sent with the completed grant report.
    • Any unused funds must be returned to RAILS upon completion of the grant.
    • RAILS will not assist in funding costs associated with items deemed non-essential to the project, including but not limited to food and gifts.
    • RAILS is authorized to promote the projects of all grant recipients through the RAILS website, social media, RAILS E-News, and other sources. Libraries are responsible for providing RAILS with information for publicity purposes.
    • Grant recipients are required to acknowledge RAILS financial support of their grant in any promotional activities.
    • Grant recipients must commit to making project products or outputs available for reuse under a Creative Commons license or otherwise freely available.
    • Grant recipients are required to participate in either a RAILS Member Update or a Sparks podcast event to give an overview of their project
    • Grant recipients will also be required to write a My Library Is… blog post, giving a brief overview of their project and the impact it had on diverse student audiences.

    RAILS Grant Agreement Form for recipients

    Application