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Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
45.312 Institute of Museum and Library Services_National Leadership Grants




Museum and Library Services Act of 1996, Public Law 104-208.
OBJECTIVES: Click here for help!
To enhance the quality of library and museum services nationwide and to provide coordination between libraries and museums.


Project Grants.
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Activities for libraries include: (1) Education and Training of persons in library and information science, particularly in areas of new technology and other critical needs, including graduate fellowships, traineeships, institutes, or other programs; (2) Research and Demonstration projects related to the enhancement of library services through effective and efficient use of new technologies, enhancement of ability of library users to make effective use of information, evaluation of library services, and dissemination of information derived from such projects; (3) Preservation or Digitization of library materials and resources, giving priority to projects emphasizing preserving and archiving digital media; development of standards, techniques, or models related to the digitization and management of digital collections; and preserving and enhancing access to unique library resources useful to the broader community. Activities for museums include: 1) Museums Online: addressing the technological needs of museums. Supports model projects that address the challenges and potential applications of new technologies and/or that demonstrate the educational impact of connecting museums and their communities through technology. 2) Museums in the Community supports museum-community partnerships that enhance the quality of community life. Projects develop long-term relationships between museums and community organizations. 3) Professional Practices supports projects that improve professional practices in the field. This includes projects that use research to improve museum operations; projects that collect, assess, or develop information and research that will serve the field; and projects that provide direct training or develop new materials. Activities for museum and library partnerships include: 1) Library and Museum Collaborations which support innovative projects that develop, document, and disseminate model programs of cooperation between libraries and museums, with emphasis on how technology is used, education is enhanced, and the community is served.


Applicant Eligibility:   For Library activities: Eligible libraries include: nonfederal, public, school, academic, archives, and private (nonprofit). Special libraries, research libraries, library agencies, library associations, library consortia, and institutions of higher education may also apply. Libraries may apply individually or in partnerships. Institutions of higher education may apply individually or in a partnership. Museums may apply only in a partnership that includes at least one eligible library. Partnerships may include other public, nonprofit and for-profit organizations. For Museum activities: Museums and museum service organizations may apply and are encouraged to partner with other related organizations. Museums of all disciplines are eligible, including art, children and youth, history, natural history, anthropology, nature centers, science-technology centers, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, historic houses and sites, planetariums, general, specialized, museum agencies, and museum consortia. Federal and for-profit museums are not eligible.

Beneficiary Eligibility:   Libraries, Archives, and Museums will benefit.

Credentials/Documentation:   Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments. OMB Circular No. A-21 for educational institutions and other nonprofit organizations also applies.

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Pre-application Coordination:   The standard application forms as furnished by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and required by OMB Circular No. A-102 must be used for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:   Applications are submitted directly to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20506. An application requesting support should include the following materials organized in the order listed: Cover sheet; abstract; narrative; schedule of completion; budget; specifications for projects involving digitization, partnership agreement statement, if applicable; applicant's organizational profile; proof of nonprofit status, if necessary; signed assurances form; and other attachments.

Award Procedure:   Proposals are reviewed by professionals in the field, panels of experts, and the Director.

Deadlines:   Contact the Institute of Museum and Library Services on (202) 606-5227 or (202) 606-8539, or e-mail for deadline dates.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   The range is 5 to 7 months.

Appeals:   Appeals may be made in writing to the Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Renewals:   The Institute of Museum and Library Services may extend particular grants at the discretion of the Director.


Formula and Matching Requirements:   Awards over $250,000 must be matched one-to-one. This requirement is waived for research projects only. Awards up to $249,999 are encouraged to match up to one-third of the project costs.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   Projects may be carried out for a period of up to 36 months from the project start date.


Reports:   The Institute of Museum and Library Services requires interim and final financial and narrative reports.

Audits:   In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A- 133 (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records:   Recipients will be required to maintain standard financial statements.


Account Identification:   59-0301-0-1-503; 59-0300-0-1-503.

Obligations:   (Grants) FY 01 $10,565,000; FY 02 est $14,659,000; and FY 03 est $16,248,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:  
NLG for Libraries: Between $10,000 and $2,000,000; NLG for Museums: Between $50,000 and $500,000; Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries and Museums: Between $10,000 and $25,000.

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For fiscal year 2001, the National Leadership Program funded 36 library projects, 18 museum projects, and 14 museum/library collaboration projects.


Contact the website for the latest program data at


Regional or Local Office:  
None. Contacts for NLG for Libraries and Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries: Tim Carrigan, Senior Program Officer,, (202) 653-4639; Sandra Toro, Senior Program Officer,, 202-653-4662; Mary Alice Ball, Senior Program Officer,, 202-653-4730; and Trevor Owens, Senior Program Officer,, 202-653-4654

Contact for NLG for Museums and Sparks! Ignition Grants for Museums: Helen Wechsler, Supervisory Grants Management Specialist,, (202) 653-4779.

Headquarters Office:  
Helen Wechsler 955 L'Enfant Plaza North, SW Suite 4000, Washington, District of Columbia 20024 Email: Phone: 202-653-4779

Web Site Address:


The National Leadership Grant Program helps libraries address pressing needs in education, research, preservation, and for libraries and museums to work together to address community needs. National Leadership Grants help museums address technology, community partnerships and sharing best practices.


Proposals will be evaluated by the following criteria: National impact; adaptability; design; management plan; budget; personnel; project evaluation; dissemination; contributions to cost-sharing and matching funds; and sustainability.

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