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Grants Information

Washington State Library (WSL) uses funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to help support WSL strategic goals Adobe Reader - Click to Download and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) priorities. WSL regularly makes funding available through different grants. The following opportunities are open either at specific times or throughout the year. For up-to-date information on grants as they become available, please visit, WSL Updates, available weekly and our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

ARPA funding is now available through grants

Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, announced that more than $3.67 million will be made available to help public, academic, and tribal libraries and museums statewide.

The funding is part of the $200 million allocated in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for State Library Agencies to employ in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Libraries and museums are critical to our communities’ vitality and well-being. Part of addressing the pandemic is to ensure they have the resources and bandwidth they need to deliver the important services people rely on every day,” said Washington State Librarian Sara Jones. “We thank the Institute of Museum and Library Services for helping make these grants possible, and we are grateful for the opportunity to support and help sustain our local libraries and museums.”

To achieve the American Rescue Plan Act’s purposes with respect to Grants to States, IMLS directed this funding to be used by September 30, 2022, in helping communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic, as well as to related economic and community needs through equitable approaches. Spending priorities are as follows:

a) First, to enable libraries to reach residents with internet hotspots, accessible Wi-Fi, and other digital inclusion efforts, particularly in support of education, health, and workforce development needs. The following types of data, among others, can inform efforts to reach underserved populations:

  • Poverty/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Unemployment
  • Broadband availability;

b) Second, to provide rapid emergency relief to libraries across the country, allowing them to safely respond to the pandemic and implement public health protocols;

c) Third, to support library services that meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S., including costs such as personnel, technology, training, materials, supplies, equipment, and associated indirect costs; and

d) With respect to (a), (b), or (c), reach tribal and museum partners best positioned to assist with pandemic response efforts, in addition to traditionally eligible library entities, where appropriate.

Washington State Library will award grants to enable libraries and museums to enhance their digital-inclusion efforts, such as creating or expanding internet hotspots, Wi-Fi capabilities, and digital content and resources supporting education, health, and workforce development. In addition, the grants can help libraries and museums implement and sustain public health protocols, and defray technology, personnel, training, supplies, equipment, and other operating costs.

Beginning June 14, qualified libraries and museums are encouraged to apply online. For complete information, application forms and ideas about how you can use ARPA funding, click here for our LibGuide.

Professional Development Funding for conferences, workshops or webinars

Washington State Library (WSL) funds Profesional Development (PD) Grants for all library staff that work at least ten hours in a library. These awards use federal funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Sciences and Technology Act (LSTA).  Your organization can apply for awards to send library staff to conferences, workshops or seminars.

We accept applications between 90 and 15 days before an event.

We encourage everyone to try to take advantage of savings like early bird registration and group rates.

Visit our Professional Development LibGuide for more applications, more details and ideas!

Contact [email protected] for more information or help.


CARES Act Funding

Exterior Connectivity Project grant opportunity

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) distributed stimulus funding, as part of the CARES Act, to help support the urgent needs of museums, libraries, their staff, and the communities they serve in response to the impacts of COVID-19.

The Washington State Library (WSL), a division of the Secretary of State, is responsible for distributing the IMLS CARES Act funding for Washington State and helping libraries, tribes and museums in the area of connectivity; paying special attention to needs arising from unemployment and economic instability.

As part of the CARES Act funding the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provided to Washington State Library (WSL), we are launching a new connectivity award opportunity to help public libraries and tribes standardize and extend WiFi connectivity. The application is available online.

This exterior WiFi should provide connectivity beyond building walls and regular hours of operation. This grant opportunity seeks to enable libraries to increase their coverage and build stronger networks for patrons. WSL will reimburse 50% of the agreed upon allowed expenses per site completed in each project. A project may cover exterior connectivity for multiple locations.

Each eligible site must already have inside internet that is strong enough to support normal patron use: streaming video, online meetings, gaming, etc. This grant award is not intended to upgrade the established inside internet service.

A facsimile of the application is available. Please note that we will be reviewing applications and making awards on a weekly basis as long as we have funding available.

Previously awarded CARES Act grants

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced on April 13, 2020 new stimulus funding, as part of the CARES Act, to help support the urgent needs of museums, libraries, their staff, and the communities they serve in response to the impacts of COVID-19.

The Washington State Library (WSL), a division of the Secretary of State, is responsible for distributing the IMLS CARES Act funding for Washington State and helping libraries, tribes and museums in the area of connectivity; paying special attention to needs arising from unemployment and economic instability.

Connectivity is vital for many essential activities. Overnight it became almost impossible for students to be able to attend school without it. Almost all job applications require it. Add to this the current economic situation and new social distancing mandated by Covid-19, and the existing digital divide has become an urgent issue. Through a special agreement with the Washington Military Department, facilitated by the Washington State Office of Broadband, WSL has acquired at least 1,000 hotspots for distribution. We’ll provide you with hotspots and funding for about for ten months of service for each. Eligibility has been determined by service population and economic data. You must complete this short application to receive your allocated hotspots. Depending upon demand, we may be able to expand this offering.  We will start to process applications on 6/19/2020. OSOS will make a contract with each awardee.

WSL is offering awards for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face masks, cleaning supplies, thermometers, plexi-glass barriers, etc. If you want to apply for funding for PPE, please follow this link. We will begin reviewing application on 6/19/2020. This application will remain open until 7/31/2020 or until funding is exhausted. Funding will be sent directly to the awardee.

Finally, WSL understands that due to the stay-at-home and social distancing policies in Washington State, libraries and museums need to be creative and offer programming in new ways to reach their patrons where they are. To help in the development of new outreach and programming, WSL would like to offer the opportunity for mini-grants of up to $3,000.  WSL will be accepting proposals through 7/31/2020 or until funding has been exhausted, and awards will be made based on the merit of the application, including documentation of the need in the community, the program description, and the explanation of how it will be integrated. Funding will be sent directly to the awardee.

We are pleased to offer a new opportunity for academic libraries at two and four year institutions. This funding is a small award, up to $3,000, you can use to help with connectivity issues your library, community, or patrons may be experiencing. There is a facsimile of the application below. we do not require you to expend funds beforehand. We will transfer funds as awards are made. Think of this as a jump start to your programming or a bridge to your new phase as classes restart this fall. Application

You can find a facsimile of each of these applications below. You may send questions to [email protected]

Like many other offices, the WSL staff is largely working from home. Email is the best and only way to contact staff during this time. We are actively checking our email throughout the day, and will get back to you as soon as possible.

Grant opportunities and past awards

Including information on Microsoft LinkedIn Leanring Implementation & Expansion grants.


The Washington State Library and NewsBank have worked together to provide an extended trial of the Access World News Research Collection and the Seattle Times Integrated Solution, which includes the text, online and image version of the Seattle Times. The Access World News Research Collection also includes many other newspapers and sources from across the state of Washington. The trial will run through December 31, 2020. Sign up for a free trial.

Professional Development (PD) grants

Awards available for individual staff to attend events or to bring professional training to a library. Only libraries and library staff are eligible to apply for these grants. Eligible libraries include public libraries, school libraries, academic libraries, tribal libraries, and libraries in non-profit institutions. We encourage libraries to work together and we want to promote opportunities that will have an impact on the library patrons. A library may apply for various awards. The limit for PD grants is $6,000 per library per year.

Washington Digital Heritage

The Washington Digital Heritage (WDH) grant cycle supports public, tribal, and academic libraries in carrying out a variety of digital initiatives focused on archival and special collections of cultural and/or historical significance. Our purpose is to connect Washingtonians to their history, employing digital initiatives and other preservation strategies to tell the stories of local communities and to celebrate our common heritage.

Proposals may include digitization of archival and special collections, metadata creation, and related proposals.

This grant cycle has a limit of $15,000 per award.

Grants Contact

LSTA Grants Manager
Washington State Library
PO Box 42460
Olympia, WA 98504-2460
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Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).