The teacher librarian must seek funding to support the evolving needs of the library media program.

money treeYou can't rely on your budget to meet the ever changing goals of your school library media program. Of course you can ask students to sell candy, advertise junk food on your school walls, and beg for donations. However there are many other approaches to funding center programs.

Explore a wide range of options as you seek funding.

How do I get started?

Begin by dreaming. Start with lots of ideas. Brainstorm all the things you'd like to do. What would you need to try these wonderful projects? Then, begin exploring funding sources. Rather than looking for a particular grant to meet a specific need, be flexible. You may need to modify your idea to get the funding you need.

eye means readRead Grant Writing Made Easy by Sheryl Abshore in School Library Journal, Feb 2002; 48(2), 38. (Access requires login) In order to get the grant, you first have to write a grant proposal.

Also read Marblehead Public Schools' announcement of their accepted Proposal for Library Incentive Grant from the Massachussetts Board of Library Commissioners (June 2004).

Go to Teacher Tap: Grants for lots of ideas.

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Where can I go for funding sources?

There are a few website that contains great lists of grants. Begin with these.

There are many funding sources. Some are listed under Funding Sources at the bottom of this page.

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What about funding sources specifically for school library programs?

Try some of the following programs designed for school libraries:

Partner with a teacher in your building and work on the grant project collaboratively! For example, write a grant with your reading specialist or special education teacher. Consider a grant for high school history or science.

Here are some ideas:

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How do you write a grant that will get funded?

There's no guarantee. However if you don't write a grant, you'll never get one.

Complete the following steps in creating a grant proposal:

Read Winning the Grant Game by Judith McGowan in School Library Journal, March 2003; 49(3), 52. (Access requires login) Avoid the pitfalls, get the federal funding you deserve.

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How do I handle rejection?

It's likely that you might have to apply for a number of grants before receiving funding. Eventually you'll be awarded a grant. The key is to keep trying.

If you get frustrated, try for some smaller grants.

Here are some examples:

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What are other sources of funding for my program?

In addition to grants, there are many other fundraising programs you and your school should consider.

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Check Your Understanding

You're the new teacher librarian. In the past, the librarian had a candy bar drive in the fall, sold Christmas wrap from catalogs in the winter, and pushed magazines in the spring to supplement that library media budget. Your school already collects soup labels and boxtops and has a Coke banner on the football field. This money is used for buying computers. You've decided to go another direction.

Describe one of the many funding opportunities not already mentioned. How would you develop this type of program? Why do you think it's an effective approach? What do you plan to do with the money?

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bulletin boardMake It Real

There are many grant opportunities for school library media programs.

Write a grant proposal for a particular funding source.

Consider an AASL Grant.


Read More About It


Abshire, Sheryl. Grant Writing Made Easy. School Library Journal, Feb 2002; 48(2), 38. (Access requires login) . . .
Tech grants are widely available, so get to a keyboard and start applying.

McGowan, Judith. Winning the Grant Game. School Library Journal, March 2003; 49(3), 52. (Access requires login) . . .
Avoid the pitfalls, get the federal funding you deserve.

Funding Sources

AASL Awards, Grants and Scholarships

Awards and Grants from International Reading Association

Funding from Digital Divide Network
Many institutions provide support for digital divide solutions, especially at the local level. This website highlights some of the companies, government agencies, and private philanthropies that are actively investing in innovative digital divide solutions.

Glaser, Carol. Got That Grant? Great! And if You Didn't? The Thomson Gale Report, May 2004.

Grants & Contracts from U.S. Department of Education
Related Websites from U.S. Dept. of Education:

Discretionary Grant Application Packages
21st Century Community Learning Centers (Formula Grant)

Grants Center from Education World
Related Sites from Education World:
Additional Current Grants from Education World
Grant Help
More Grant Resources

Grant Sources from International Society for Technology in Education

Grants and Funding from eSchool News

Grants and Other Funding Sources from NASA’s Learning Technologies Project

Grants and Programs from NEA Foundation

Grant Sources for Educators from Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators

Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries
2004 deadline for grants applications for grants for 2004 was on December 17, 2003. School libraries were able to request up to $5,000 to update, extend or diversify their book collections. Awards were announced in May 2004. The foundation anticipates making the next grant proposal application available in Fall 2004.

Scholastic’s Funding Connection

Portal for grant information for PK-12 educators.

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