Professional Development Grants

Washington State Library (WSL) funds Professional Development (PD) Grants to help fund professional training for library staff. These awards use federal funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Sciences and Technology Act (LSTA).

Organizations can apply for awards to send library staff to conferences, workshops or seminars. Please see our for complete information including applications and suggestions. We encourage everyone to try to take advantage of savings like early bird registration.


Qualifying libraries include public libraries, schools districts for their school library staff, academic institutions for their libraries, tribal libraries, and non-profit institutions and their libraries. If the library is not fiscally independent, the application must come from the library’s parent entity. Either a library or their parent institution, depending on their structure, has the authority to apply for these grants and receive reimbursements. The maximum per library is $6,000 per year. Libraries can apply for two types of PD grants:

Please remember:
  • Only libraries and library staff are eligible to use the grants.
  • Limitations are included in the applications.
  • Branches of a library or library system count as a single library for award limits.
  • School districts must apply for school libraries.
  • WSL will accept applications until funds are exhausted. We reserve the right to release the funding in increments if requests are overwhelming.

Managing your award

The applicant organization claims reimbursement from WSL. All expenses must be allowable and documented with receipts that show both the charges invoiced and the payment made by the applicant organization. WSL can only make reimbursements directly to the organization. The WSL Grant Manager must approve all reports and visual projects before processing reimbursements.

There are two required parts:

  1. The WSL PD Reimbursement claim form
  2. Each attendee or Project manager completes a narrative evaluation using an online questionnaire

Criteria and Help for Visual Presentation

The visual presentation is to share what you learn at professional development events. The presentation should articulate why you attended the event, what you learned, and how it will benefit your end users.

  • Your format choice is wide open. We have a set of links to free online resources Adobe Reader - Click to Downloadthat might be helpful and even inspirational.
  • We don’t really want an overview or summary of the whole event. We’d rather see what excited you, a specific trick you learned, how you’re changing up your library services, why it will be better for your patrons. We would love to hear about your ah-hah! moment, how you plan to use the cool new technique you learned, or where you think your new knowledge will take you and your patrons next.
  • If you got an award for a preconference, the presentation must be about that.
  • Pics/graphics: Photos are great, but not necessary. There is no requirement for images of the actual training event. Be creative. Just be sure to respect copyright. It could end up on the internet. Please don’t send a text-only slide presentation.
  • And yes, each attendee must create a separate visual presentation. Short and sweet is usually a winner.

An example video and instructional handout Adobe Reader - Click to Downloadare available.

Is it Protected by Copyright?—American Library Association (ALA)

Copyright and Cultural Institutions Adobe Reader - Click to Download—Cornell University

Free online tools to help create your presentation Adobe Reader - Click to Download

Examples visual reports from attendees

More information on allowable expenses and required reimbursement documentation


Mileage documentation

  • WSL reimburses mileage at the rate allowable by Washington State.
  • WSL can only reimburse mileage if a personal vehicle is used.—A signed statement is required for reimbursement.
  • Include a mapped route from starting and ending locations showing miles driven—We cannot reimburse from an attendee’s home if it is more distant than the place of work.

For rental cars, send receipts from your rental car company that show the number of days for the rental and final amount paid, and fuel receipts. For motor pool vehicle, please provide documentation for the cost incurred for your use of the motor pool vehicle.

Plane/train/bus/ferry: Receipt from travel provider (airline, travel agent, etc.) indicating total amount paid and reflecting a zero balance. If receipt does not reflect zero balance, additional documentation to prove payment has been made will be necessary (copy of a credit card or bank statement—please highlight the appropriate line and mask your account number). This document should include your itinerary. We cannot reimburse any fees for booking travel.

Parking, taxis, vans, shuttles, etc: Receipt from travel provider. For hotel parking, an itemized hotel receipt is sufficient. Awardees are expected to use the most economical option available for parking.

Meals are not reimbursable.


You must live more than 50 miles from the event to qualify for lodging reimbursement.

Provide itemized receipt from hotel indicating zero balance. If receipt does not reflect zero balance, proof of payment is also required (copy of a credit card or bank statement—please highlight the appropriate line and mask your account number).

Items not allowable for reimbursement include in-room movies/games, mini-bar items, room service, safe, etc. Parking should be reported under Travel, even if it appears on the lodging receipt.

When making reservations, please request either the government rate or the conference rate. Lodging rates (before taxes) cannot exceed the federal per diem rates for the event location. If no federal per diem is available, a conference rate may be requested. This is limited to a maximum of 25% over per diem rates as per state regulations. (10.30.30.a).

If you shared a room with other attendee(s), state so and then include only your share of the costs. If you shared a room with a non-attendee such as a family member, claim only what it would have cost if you were by yourself.

Meals are not reimbursable.

Registration fees

Itemized registration receipt or registration form and proof of payment are required.

LSTA funds cannot be used to pay for meals or social activities not included in the basic registration price. Nor can LSTA funds be used for professional membership dues, or toward any additional fees incurred in the pursuit of a degree or certificate (clock hours or credits).

Required workbooks or textbooks for training: Provide itemized receipt with proof of payment.

Substitute librarians for schools

Provide proof of payment for a substitute (show amount paid, date paid, warrant # or if by electronic transfer).

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).