Community Connect Program, Deadline July 11


The purpose of the Community Connect Grant Program is to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to eligible applicants that will provide currently unserved areas, on a ‘‘community-oriented connectivity’’ basis, with broadband service that fosters economic growth and delivers enhanced educational, health care, and public safety services.


The following entities are eligible for funding:

  • Incorporated Organizations;
  • Indian Tribes or Tribal Organizations, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b(e);
  • State or local units of government; or
  • Cooperatives, private corporations or limited liability companies organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis.


Applications for the 2013 Fiscal Year are now being accepted.

Fund Uses

Grant funds may be used to finance the following:

  • The construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, including spectrum, land or buildings, used to deploy service at the Broadband Grant Speed to all residential and business customers located within the Proposed Funded Service Area (PFSA) and all participating Critical Community Facilities, including funding for up to 10 Computer Access Points to be used in the Community Center. Buildings constructed with grant funds must reside on property owned by the awardee. Leasing costs will only be covered through the advance of funds period included in the award documents;
  • The improvement, expansion, construction, or acquisition of a Community Center and provision of Computer Access Points. Grant funds for the Community Center will be limited to 10% of the requested grant amount. If a community center is constructed with grant funds, the center must reside on property owned by the awardee; and
  • The cost of providing the necessary bandwidth for service free of charge to the Critical Community Facilities for two years.

Contact us for more information!

Photo: Mosbourne01, Wikicommons

Community Connect Program, Deadline July 11

Prime Time Family Reading Time Grants, Deadline May 15

For all new PRIME TIME Family Reading Time® programs, the Michigan Humanities Council will provide $9,000 to selected libraries to cover the majority of program expenses. Any public library system in the state of Michigan is eligible to apply to host a six-week PRIME TIME® series. A library system must commit to hosting a minimum of three PRIME TIME® series over a two-year period.

Deadline: May 15, 2012 for July 2012 training

Details on the Prime Time program are provided below:

The Michigan Humanities Council works with public libraries and public schools across the state to host PRIME TIME Family Reading Time® programs. PRIME TIME® is a six-week program of reading, discussion and storytelling that targets families of non-active library users. The program features award-winning children’s literature to stimulate discussion about humanities themes and issues encountered in everyday life. Since 2008, more than 6,700 Michigan children and parents have participated in PRIME TIME®.

Each session is 90 minutes and includes the reading of up to three books by a storyteller, followed by facilitated discussion with a humanities scholar. Programs typically serve 20 to 25 families comprised of parents and children ages 6-12 with separate pre-reading activities planned for children 5 and under. Programs may be presented in English or as a bilingual Spanish/English program.

  •     Bond families around the act of reading and learning together;
  •     Reinforce the role of family;
  •     Encourage parents and children to read and discuss the humanities topics raised in the books;
  •     Help parents and children become active library users; and
  •     Highlight the importance of the library in local community and daily life.

PRIME TIME® is offered by the Michigan Humanities Council in cooperation with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Library Association, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation – W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and additional corporate and private sponsors.
Who May Host a Program?

Any public library system or public school library in the state of Michigan is eligible to apply to host a six-week PRIME TIME® series. A library system or public school library must commit to hosting a minimum of three PRIME TIME® series over a two-year period. The second and third series may occur in the same library or at another library within the same system.

As of September 2011, there are 19 Michigan libraries who are hosting or have hosted the program through the Michigan Humanities Council. Those libraries are: Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library (Alpena), Cass District Library (Cassopolis), Charlevoix Public Library, Detroit Public Library – Campbell (Detroit), Detroit Public Library – Conley (Detroit), Hackley Public Library (Muskegon), Hamtramck Public Library (Hamtramck), Harper Woods Public Library (Harper Woods), Highland Twp. Public Library (Highland), Hoyt Public Library of the Saginaw Public Libraries (Saginaw), Jackson District Library – Carnegie Branch (Jackson), Lenawee County Library – Main Branch (Adrian), Loutit District Library (Grand Haven), Monroe County Library System – Navarre Branch (Monroe), Peter White Public Library (Marquette), Saginaw Butman Fish Library (Saginaw), South Haven Memorial Library, Stair Public Library (Morenci), and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Library (Mt. Pleasant.)
How Much Does PRIME TIME® Cost?

For all new PRIME TIME® programs, the Council will provide $9,000 to the library to cover the majority of program expenses. These expenses include a two-day mandatory training session for the library coordinator, scholar and storyteller in New Orleans, stipends for the scholar and storyteller, and a portion of the book costs. If your library has previously hosted PRIME TIME®, mini grants will be available up to $2,000. The library must provide a budget, which includes cash and in-kind cost share, to cover the remainder of the book costs as well as miscellaneous program expenses that will vary by site.
Additional Host Library Requirements:

  •     Identify a library coordinator who will attend a two-day training session in New Orleans along with a program scholar and storyteller (team responsibilities);
  •     Order and catalog program books from an approved PRIME TIME® syllabus;
  •     Promote PRIME TIME® according to Council guidelines and recruit 20-25 families;
  •     Provide credit to the Council in all promotional materials;
  •     Arrange for family transportation to and from the program as needed;
  •     Provide adequate space for meals/snacks, the PRIME TIME reading and discussion, and preschool activities;
  •     Provide a weekly five-minute “library commercial” to introduce families to additional library programs and  resources;
  •     Organize staff and resources for weekly preschool activities (a manual of suggested readings/activities is provided at the training in New Orleans);
  •     Issue library cards to all participating families;
  •     Complete and submit required reports to the Council upon conclusion of the program
  •     Administer and compile required participant surveys including entry, exit, and 90-day follow-up surveys;
  •     Provide cash and/or in-kind support for program costs not covered by Council funds;
  •     Present award certificates and gift books to families at program’s end.

Responsibilities of the Michigan Humanities Council

  •     Provide staff support and technical assistance regarding PRIME TIME®
  •     Act as intermediary between the library and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
  •     Assist in promotion and securing printed promotional materials
  •     Conduct site visits and program evaluation
  •     Assist library in identifying an appropriate scholar and storyteller as needed
  •     Write proposals for future funding
  •     Provide 30 reusable book bags
  •     Pay the required partnership fee to Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities ($500/site)

How your library can apply to host PRIME TIME®

Please submit a one-page letter of interest to the attention of Robin Soergel, Education Programs and Outreach Officer (, phone: 517-372-7770) to be considered. For new PRIME TIME® sites, please consider the following in the letter of interest:

Name of the library/system;
Community demographics supporting need for PRIME TIME® in your area;
Examples of prior literacy and/or reading and discussion family programs hosted by your library;
Partnering agencies that could assist your library to recruit non-library-using families and volunteer support.
Submit a proposed budget

Prime Time Family Reading Time Grants, Deadline May 15

Library Grants, Deadline Nov 15

The IMLS Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries and Museums are a new IMLS funding opportunity within the National Leadership Grants program. These grants encourage libraries, archives, and museums to challenge existing assumptions about how they operate and the services they provide. These small grants support the deployment, testing, and evaluation of promising and groundbreaking new tools, products, services, or organizational practices. Applicants may propose activities or approaches that involve risk, as long as the risk is balanced by significant potential for improvement in the ways cultural heritage institutions serve their communities.

Successful proposals will address problems, challenges, or needs of broad relevance to libraries, archives, and/or museums, will test innovative responses to these problems, and will make the findings of these tests widely and openly accessible. To maximize the benefit of federal investments, the Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries and Museums will fund projects with the following characteristics:

  • Broad Potential Impact—Applicants should identify a specific problem or need that is important to many libraries, archives, and/or museums, and propose a testable and measurable solution to the problem. Proposals must demonstrate a thorough understanding of current issues and practices in the project’s focus area and discuss the project’s potential impact within libraries, archives, and/or museums. Proposed innovations should be widely adoptable or adaptable.
  • Significant Innovation—The proposed solution to the identified problem must offer strong potential for non-incremental, significant advancement in the operation of libraries, archives, and/or museums. Applicants must explain how the proposed activity differs from current practices or exploits an unexplored opportunity, and the potential benefit to be gained by this innovation.

Institutions of all sizes and types are encouraged to develop projects that meet the specific needs of their counterparts across the country. Examples of projects that might be funded by this program include, but are not limited to:

  • exploring the potential of highly original, experimental collaborations,
  • implementing new workflows or processes with potential for substantial cost savings,
  • testing new metrics or methods to measure the impact of promising tools or services,
  • rapid prototyping and testing of new types of software tools, or creating useful new ways to link separate software applications used in libraries, archives, or museums,
  • offering innovative new types of services or new service options to library, archive, or museum visitors, or
  • enhancing institutions’ abilities to interact with audiences in new ways to promote learning or improve services, such as through the deployment of innovative crowd-sourcing techniques.

Grant funding for such activities may include all activities associated with planning, deploying, and evaluating the innovation, as long as the expense is allowable under federal and IMLS regulations and guidelines. Sparks! Ignition Grant funds may not be used for:

  • evaluation of an existing program or service,
  • projects that are only for planning,
  • projects that are only for research (as distinguished from experimentation),
  • projects that are limited to existing and traditional approaches to exhibitions, performances, or other types of public programs,
  • projects that involve mainly digitization, unless the applicant is proposing an innovative method for digitization,
  • activities that will produce only incremental improvements in operational or business processes,
  • support of conferences or professional meetings, or
  • acquisition of equipment in excess of 50 percent of the total funds requested from IMLS.

The Sparks! Ignition Grants intentionally are designed to foster broad sharing of information about project findings. Successful proposals are expected to include innovative and well-rounded communication plans that exploit multiple media and technologies to share project information with targeted audiences. Additionally, grant recipients at the end of the project will be required to submit a five- to ten-page white paper that IMLS will disseminate widely. This paper will describe the identified problem or need, original project goals, and the innovation tested, and report the findings and lessons learned through the activity. Grant recipients also will be expected to participate in a January 2012 online discussion among all the 2011 Sparks! Ignition Grants awardees.

Award Amounts
Sparks! Ignition Grants range from $10,000 to $25,000. IMLS will review and negotiate budgets as necessary. IMLS may award an amount less than that requested by an applicant. If IMLS funding is requested for salaries of permanent staff, the proposal should explain how their regular duties will be performed during the grant period.

Eligibility for Libraries and Archives

An eligible applicant must be:

  1. either a unit of state or local government or a private nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code;
  2. located in one of the 50 states of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau; and
  3. one of the six types of organizations listed below:
    • 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 public libraries, elementary and secondary school libraries, college and university libraries, 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,1 and private or special libraries that have been deemed eligible to participate in this program by the state in which the library is located,
    • 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.

Eligibility for Museums

An eligible applicant must be:

  • either a unit of state or local government or a private nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code,
  • be located in one of the fifty states of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau,
  • and qualify as one of the following three types of organizations:
  1. a museum2 that, using a professional staff,3
    • is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational 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 operates4.
  2. an organization or association that engages in activities designed to advance the well-being of museums and the museum profession,5 or
  3. an institution of higher education, including public and nonprofit universities.

Please note that a museum located within a parent organization that is a state or local government or multipurpose not-for-profit entity, such as a municipality, university, historical society, foundation, or cultural center, may apply on its own behalf if the museum (1) is able to independently fulfill all the eligibility requirements listed above , (2) functions as a discrete unit within the parent organization , (3) has its own fully segregated and itemized operating budget , and (4) has the authority to make the application on its own. When any of the last three conditions cannot be met, a museum may apply through its parent organization, and the parent organization may submit a single application for one or more of its museums.

Library Grants, Deadline Nov 15