Continuing Education Grants

Upcoming changes

We are phasing out our current Continuing Education (CE) grants, replacing them with Professional Development (PD) grants as of April 1, 2015. These new grants use a revised process for applying, reporting, and claiming reimbursement. Please review the Professional Development Grants webinar archive for more information.

About CE Grants

Library staff (paid or volunteer) and libraries or library consortia in Washington State may be eligible for Continuing Education (CE) grants. A portion of the State Library's federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds have been allocated specifically to fund Individual CE grants and Organizational CE grants. Libraries must be LSTA-eligible and training must meet one or more of the seven LSTA priorities and have a direct benefit to the library customer.

IMLS Guidance

The focus of the Washington State Library Continuing Education (CE) grant program has broadened as a result of 2010 Congressional reauthorization of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). All grant awards must be in compliance with LSTA, including the Grants to States purposes as noted in section 9141 of the legislation.

Please review CE Allowable Costs Adobe Reader - Click to Download for more information.

Temporary Reduction of Match

To help libraries during these hard economic times, the Washington State Library is temporarily lowering the match for CE grants to 25%. The Washington State Library will cover the remaining 75% of eligible expenses.

Back to Top


Who is eligible for CE grants?

  • Individuals: Librarians and all categories of support staff working ten or more hours per week (paid or volunteer) in a library or library consortia which is eligible to receive LSTA funds. Trustees, managers, and supervisors are eligible if benefit to the library's customers can be shown.
  • Organizations: Institutions whose primary role is to provide or support library and information services and who are eligible to receive LSTA funding may hire a trainer to present a CE event to their own staff or another group whose primarily duties are working in libraries. Organizations may also complete an application to cover multiple staffs' attendance at the same outside CE event that fits one or more of the seven national priorities.

Who is NOT eligible for CE grants?

  • Individuals presenting at conferences if only attending as a presenter
  • Persons attending professional meetings such as ALA Midwinter
  • General conference attendees

What kinds of programs or events are eligible?

Events must meet at least one or more of the seven LSTA priorities. If this requirement is met, examples of eligible events could include training, pre-conferences, specialized single focus conferences, and workshops from established training providers such as professional associations (or their affiliates), consultants, schools, colleges, and universities delivered in person, online or via satellite or video.

Training related to the improvement of management or supervisory skills, or improvement of library operations, are now allowed if benefit to the library's customers can be shown.

The following seven LSTA priorities are the sections of the LSTA purposes against which CE applications will be reviewed:

  1. Expand services for learning and access to information and educational resources in a variety of formats, in all types of libraries, for individuals of all ages in order to support such individuals' needs for education, lifelong learning, workforce development, and digital literacy skills;
  2. Develop library services that provide all users access to information through local, state, regional, national, and international collaborations and networks;
  3. Provide training and professional development, including continuing education, to enhance the skills of the current library workforce and leadership, and advance the delivery of library and information services;
  4. Establish or enhance electronic and other linkages and improved coordination among and between libraries and entities for the purpose of improving the quality of and access to library and information services;
  5. Develop public and private partnerships with other agencies and community-based organizations;
  6. Target library services to individuals of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and to individuals with limited functional literacy or information skills; and
  7. Target library and information services to persons having difficulty using a library and to underserved urban and rural communities, including children (from birth through age 17) from families with incomes below the poverty line.

What kinds of programs or events are NOT eligible?

  • CE Grants MAY NOT be used to fund attendance at:
    • Activities that do not comply with at least one of the seven LSTA priorities
    • General library conferences (WLA, WLMA, WALE, ALA, PLA, PNLA, ACRL, IFLA, etc.)
    • Conferences if only attending as a presenter
    • Attendance at professional meetings such as ALA Midwinter
    • Activities that do not directly lead to the development and delivery of programs and services to the end user (your patrons)
    • CE events requiring out of country travel except in the case of travel within British Columbia or Alberta, Canada for specialized workshops or pre-conferences that have a direct connection to the Washington library community

Back to Top


How are funds awarded?

  • CE grants work on a matching basis: they can be used to match up to 75 percent of the total cost of the CE event. Thus the grantee's contribution must be at least 25 percent of the total cost; this may be a combination of an individual's personal contribution and that of their employer.
  • Funds are paid on a reimbursement basis pending receipt of claim with supporting documentation within 60 days after the CE event.
  • Claim reimbursements cannot exceed the original granted amount.
  • Individuals are allowed $1,000 per year in CE funds, with a maximum of $750 per event. Organizations are allowed $3,000 per calendar year. These amounts are based on the amount actually reimbursed to the grantee (not award amounts).
  • WSL reserves the right to determine the reasonableness of cost for an event.
  • The State Library has final discretion in approval of applications.

Back to Top


What expenses are eligible for reimbursement?

  • Event registration
  • Trainer fees
  • Travel
  • Lodging, if CE event is over 50 miles away (reimbursed at either government or conference rate)
  • Required workshop materials (workbook, texts)
  • Substitutes—Since the intent for reimbursement of substitutes is to keep libraries open when the librarian leaves for training outside of his/her building, a hardship waiver is required if an applicant needs to have substitute time covered. Organizational grants are not eligible for substitute reimbursement.

What expenses are NOT eligible for either match or reimbursement?

  • Conference meals, including author luncheons
  • Membership fees
  • Tours
  • Social activities
  • Credits or clock hours

Back to Top

CE Grant Process

The CE grant process: from application to reimbursement

  1. Application submission
    Submit the signed originals of your CE Grant Application plus one copy, postmarked no later than 30 days prior (and preferably not more than 3 months prior) to the CE event, to the address below. Use the application appropriate to your situation and download it from the list below: Sorry, we cannot accept faxed or emailed applications; please mail your application to:
    CE Grants Program
    Washington State Library
    P.O. Box 42460
    Olympia, WA 98504-2460
  2. Notification of award or non-award
    You will be notified within two weeks of receipt of your application whether or not your grant request has been approved for funding. You will receive a CE Grant Claim Form and Reimbursement Instructions along with your award letter. Please review these materials for accuracy—in particular, your contact information and approved budget. Reviewing the CE Grant Reimbursement Instructions before your event will also help you to understand what kind of documentation will be required to support your claim. Download CE Grant Reimbursement Instructions Adobe Reader - Click to Download for more specific information.
  3. Attend or host the CE event
    Be sure to collect and save the necessary itemized receipts.
  4. Claim submission
    Submit claims following the reimbursement instructions; include all required documentation and your narrative report. Grant claims not received within 60 days after the CE event has ended will be cancelled if no extension has been granted. It is the responsibility of the grantee to request an extension, if needed, by contacting prior to the deadline. You may also request replacement copies of your claim documents, should you need them.
  5. Review of claim
    The claim will be reviewed for allowable costs and proper documentation. The narrative report will also be reviewed prior to processing the reimbursement. If the narrative report is lacking essential information or detail, or if documentation of expenses is insufficient, a request will be made to the applicant for more information before processing the claim.
  6. Reimbursement
    Reimbursement will be made within 30 days from receipt of your claim, unless questions about the claim arise. If there are questions, we will contact you as soon as possible to discuss them with you so that your reimbursement will not be delayed. If you do not receive your reimbursement within this time, please contact Maura Walsh.

    For Individual CE Grants, payments must be to the individual grant recipient; payment cannot be made to the individual's organization. It is the responsibility of the individual grantee to reimburse their organization if required.

    For Organizational CE Grants, organizations must provide their OFM-issued Statewide Vendor Number (SWV).

Back to Top

Feedback We encourage your feedback. If you have comments or suggestions, please use our feedback form.

Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).