My Library Is ... Grant

2024 My Library Is… Grant applications are now closed. We will be updating applicants on their status by Wednesday, April 3. Applications for 2025 will open in Fall 2024.


As part of the My Library Is… campaign, RAILS invites applications for grant projects that help tell the story of the library.

See previous grant recipients.


New for 2024: all RAILS libraries are eligible to apply.

Libraries that received funding from the 2023 My Library Is… Grants for School Libraries are encouraged to wait a year before applying again.

Criteria and Evaluation

All applications will be evaluated by a team of volunteer reviewers. The rubric below includes the criteria on which all applications will be evaluated:


Individual awards are limited to $5,000. We will fund up to $100,000 in total awards for the entire grant period. The link below provides more information on how these grants will be funded:

My Library Is... Grant Funding Formula

Grants will be awarded, and funds distributed approximately 6-8 weeks after the application deadline.

All applications will be either full funded or not funded; no applications will be partially funded.


All applications must include the following:

  • Project Title
  • Budget
  • Description
  • Statement of Outcome
  • Statement of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

For expectations of these elements, please see Criteria & Evaluation above.

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:

Applications are due Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at 5:00 pm Central. Late applications will not be accepted.


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 audiences.

  • Projects that help promote the role of library workers in material selection
  • Design and/or print projects that help demonstrate the role of the library
  • Purchasing new technologies that support the work of the library in reaching new audiences
  • Media projects that demonstrate the value of the library or showcase specific programs, services, or audiences
  • Working with a marketing consultant to do a marketing audit, assessment, or developing collateral such as templates images and logos for your library


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

  • 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 library; the RAILS 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.

Application Form