Competitive Grants


The NKCLS Executive Board is pleased to announce a competitive grant program for 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 our 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.
  • Professional services – architect, accountant or other professional for a project or limited need/training.
    • Examples include: Hiring a consultant to do strategic planning or other futures planning for the community/library. Could also include construction companies/ architects/architecture firms in order to plan future building, renovation or expansion projects.  This category could also include HR experts, accountants or design professionals providing consulting on internal best practices. Trainers could also be hired to enhance staff skills or to provide services to the community for the project duration.
  • 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.
  • New or enhanced digital collections
    • Examples include: start-up fees to join the Sunflower e-Library and any start-up costs associated with digital titles for your community, digital collection enhancements targeted to a specific audience and purpose.  That could include increased digital copies to support a one-book community read or other programming effort.
  • Partnerships that enhance the library’s reach within the community 
    • Examples include: Partnerships with health or social service related organizations, outreach related to local business or agriculture, new associations with groups that target at-risk individuals, youth groups, targeted efforts to work with local care providers or senior centers, local school partnerships.
  • Marketing services that reach new audiences or promote new services
    • Examples include: Graphic design services for new or enhanced library branding within the community, one-time advertising campaign funds to promote new resources within the community, promotion of the Kansas library ecard in areas where digital adoption is low or to increase the reach of the library’s digital materials or other programs/services.
  • Automation or digitization projects
    • Examples include coverage of costs to join NorCat, to automate the library, to add pieces of a collection not currently online or to clean up an existing catalog.  Services to digitize special collections or add digital collections to the region’s resources. 


  • 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 and Number

Annually, we will assess the unallocated funds in the budget and the areas of need to determine a minimum and maximum amount for these competitive grants.  We will target grants from $3,000 – 5,000 per library. 

Annual Timeline

October – grant details will be issued 

November 15 – grant applications will be due

December 1 – grants will be awarded and checks issued

Project completion timeline – December 15 – April 15

Project reporting completed by May 15

Please fill out the Competitive Grant Form below:

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