Competitive Grant

2024 Competitive Grant Guidelines

The NCKLS Executive Board is pleased to announce a competitive grant program for libraries non-contracting libraries.  Applicants will be scored by a subcommittee including NCKLS staff and member library representatives that will not be applying (if available) using the attached rubric.  Libraries should customize their applications based on the criteria listed in the rubric and be prepared to put their best effort into their applications since they will be competing with other non-contracting libraries.  The purpose of this grant fund is to fully distribute budgeted grant dollars to qualifying NCKLS libraries, to enhance library services, tackle issues with aging infrastructure and increase innovation across the region.   

Identified Areas of Need

  • Facilities maintenance, renovation and construction projects that significantly improve the library’s interior or exterior
    • Projects to alter the interior of the library – or a section of the library to refresh and enhance the space for the public including paint, landscaping that relates to programming or new services (like a children’s garden), shelving, carpet, windows, lighting, other flooring, plumbing, heating/AC, ADA compliance, etc. This could also include renovation or addition of outdoor programming spaces, adding dedicated spaces for children/youth, a mural project to attract visitors to the library and community, etc.
  • Furniture and fixtures that make the library more flexible, digital-friendly and welcoming space
    • Examples include: Replacing older tables with flexible pieces that move with patrons, enhancements that allow access to the WIFI including tables/chairs with electrical outlets or charging stations, group workstations that allow small group work with a tabletop whiteboard or a tablet.


  • Exhaust all budgeted grant funds to libraries in designated areas of need annually.
  • Ensure libraries have access to some funding beyond smaller grants that have a maximum of $1,000.
  • Increase the ability of our libraries to make infrastructure enhancements, be innovative and add new services.

Grant Amounts

Annually, NCKLS will access the funds in the budget and areas of need to determine a maximum amount for the competitive grant. 
The 2024 Competitive Grant will be funded at $35,000.  We will accept grants up to $10,000 per library.  We plan to fund 3-5 grants.

Annual Timeline

Summer release of grant specs - target July

The Competitive Grant Application period opens

September 15 - Grant applications will be due

The Competitive Grant application will be due

Oct 1 - grants will be awarded, checks issued

Grants will be awarded and checks issued

Project completion October - April following year

October- April of the following year the project must be completed

Project reporting completed by May 15

The project reporting but be completed by May 15

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