Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program


The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian (LB21) program supports the development of a diverse workforce of librarians and archivists in order to meet the information needs of their communities. There are three program goals with three to five associated objectives each. GOAL 1: Recruit, train, develop, and retain a diverse workforce of library and archives professionals. Obj. 1.1: Develop programs encouraging diverse students to pursue careers in library and information science. Obj. 1.2: Collaborate with formal and/or informal learning organizations to incorporate promising practices from allied domains into library and archives services. Obj. 1.3: Develop workforce training to support families, groups, and individuals of diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds and needs. GOAL 2: Develop faculty, library, and archives leaders by increasing the institutional capacity of libraries, archives, and graduate programs related to library and information science. Obj. 2.1: Support large-scale organizational change addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Obj. 2.2: Create DEI initiatives, activities, and curricula to recruit, develop, and retain leaders from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. Obj. 2.3: Support the research of untenured tenure-track library and information science faculty, furthering the faculty members long-term research agenda, career trajectory, and professional development. GOAL 3: Enhance the training and professional development of the library and archival workforce to meet the needs of their communities. Obj. 3.1: Develop training to equip the library and archival workforce to engage in sustained community development. Obj. 3.2: Create and/or refine training programs that build library and archival workforce skills and expertise in contributing to the well-being of communities. Obj. 3.3: Create and/or refine training programs to build library and archival workforce skills and expertise in developing engaging lifelong learning opportunities, fostering attitudes of discovery, cultivating critical and creative thinking skills, and facilitating experiential and self-directed learning opportunities for all. Obj. 3.4: Support training of the library and archival workforce to advance digital inclusion for the benefit of community members. Obj. 3.5: Support training of the library and archival workforce in digital collection management.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
The Institute of Museum and Library Services
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; C - Direct Payments For Specified Use
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2015 30 awards made in FY15.
Fiscal Year 2021 IMLS made 37 awards.
Fiscal Year 2023 IMLS made 33 awards.
Public Law 115-410, 20 USC Chapter 72 Museum and Library Services Act of 2018 U.S.C. § 9101-9176; in particular, § 9165 (Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program)
The Act authorizes the Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services to enter into grants and other forms of assistance for projects that help develop a diverse workforce of librarians.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
An applicant must meet geographic and governance criteria and qualify as one of the following six types of organizations: 1. A library or a parent organization, such as a school district, a municipality, a State agency, or an academic institution, that is responsible for the administration of a library; 2. An academic or administrative unit, such as a graduate school of library and information science that is part of an institution of higher education through which it would apply; 3. A digital library or archives, if it makes materials publicly available and provides library or archival services, including selection, organization, description, reference, and preservation, under the supervision of at least one permanent professional staff librarian/archivist; 4. A library or archival agency that is an official agency of a State, tribal, or other unit of government and is charged by the law governing it with the extension and development of public library services within its jurisdiction; 5. A library or archives consortium that is a local, statewide, regional, interstate, or international cooperative association of library entities that provides for the systematic and effective coordination of the resources of eligible libraries or archives, as defined above, and information centers that work to improve the services delivered to the clientele of these libraries or archives; or 6. A library or archives association that exists on a permanent basis; serves libraries, archives, or library or archival professionals on a national, regional, State, or local level; and engages in activities designed to advance the well-being of libraries and the library profession.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. 1. Ensure that required registrations are active and user names and passwords are in place. 2. Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity carefully to get all the information required for applying. 3. Compose the Preliminary Proposal, using resources available through (e.g. on-demand webinars, instructions, Sample Applications, Reviewer Resources). 4. Contact an IMLS staff member to ask any questions about the application and review process. 5. Submit the application via by the deadline. 6. If contacted to submit an Invited Full Proposal, reread the Notice of Funding Opportunity paying special attention to the requirements for a full proposal. 7. Compose the Invited Full Proposal, using resources available through 8. Submit the application via by the deadline.
Award Procedure
IMLS staff review applications for eligibility and completeness. IMLS uses a peer review process to evaluate all eligible and complete applications. Peer reviewers are experts in the field with relevant knowledge and expertise in the types of project activities identified in the applications. IMLS instructs reviewers to evaluate applications according to the review criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. Peer reviewers must comply with Federal ethics and conflicts of interest requirements. The IMLS Director takes into account the input provided by the review process and makes final funding decisions consistent with the purposes of the agency's mission and programs.
July 13, 2023 to September 20, 2023 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (Phase I): The application process consists of two phases. For Phase I, all applicants must submit two-page Preliminary Proposals through by 11:59 pm U.S. Eastern Time, September 20, 2023. February 1, 2024 to March 20, 2024 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (Phase II): Selected applicants will be invited in early February to submit full proposals through by 11:59 pm U.S. Eastern Time, March 20, 2024. Only Invited Full Proposals will be considered for funding.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
More than 180 days. IMLS will extend invitations to selected applicants to submit full proposals in early February, 2024, and will notify both successful and unsuccessful applicants of the final decisions by email by July 2024.
IMLS will provide copies of reviewer comments and scores to all unsuccessful applicants and invite them to consult with specific IMLS staff when determining whether to revise the proposal and submit it again to IMLS or another funding agency.
IMLS may extend particular grants at the discretion of the Director.
How are proposals selected?
Successful proposals in this grant program are structured to result in broad impact in training and educating library and archives professionals; address a critical issue or opportunity for library and archives professionals and build on current strategic initiatives, knowledge, and agendas in these fields; involve key stakeholders and partners in strategic collaborations; employ a team possessing demonstrated expertise; and address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
How may assistance be used?
Grant funds must be used for the purposes outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, and in accordance with the Institute of Museum and Library Services General Terms and Conditions. Examples of allowable costs include personnel salaries, wages, and fringe benefits for project staff; travel expenses for key project staff and consultants; materials, supplies, software, and equipment related directly to project activities; adaptive and/or assistive technologies and other resources and services to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities; third-party costs; publication design and printing; program evaluation; staff and volunteer training; student tuition and fees; paid internships/fellowships; and indirect or overhead costs.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Grantees are required to submit a performance report annually. Reports are due according to the reporting schedule provided as part of the official award notification. Grantees must submit reports using the IMLS electronic grants management system. In support of the agency’s commitment to open government, interim and final performance reports may be made accessible on the IMLS website to engage the public in communities of practice and to inform application development and grant-making strategies.
Not applicable.
Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other project records must be retained for three years following the submission of the final financial report.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. One-to-one cost share from non-federal sources is required for Implementation Project requests of more than $249,999, excluding Student Support costs. Cost share is allowed but not required for all other project types.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Projects must begin on August 1, 2024. Projects may be carried out for one to two or one to three years, depending on project type. Funds are released as advances or reimbursement in response to requests for payment.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Connie Bodner
955 L'Enfant Plaza North, SW
Suite 4000
Washington, DC 20024 US
Phone: 202-653-4636

Sandra Narva
955 L'Enfant Plaza North, SW
Suite 4000
Washington, DC 20024 USA
Phone: 202-653-4634
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 22$10,000,000.00; FY 23 est $10,000,000.00; FY 24 est $10,000,000.00; FY 21$10,000,000.00; FY 20$10,000,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
FY2022: Awards ranged from $118,996 to $623,501. Average = $294,020. FY2023: Awards ranged from $113,462 to $649,921. Average = $271,226. In FY2024, requests may range from $50,000 to $1,000,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
2 CFR Part 200. 20 USC Chapter 72 Museum and Library Services Act of 2018, ? 9101-9176; in particular, ? 9165. Guidelines are available online at or upon request from IMLS, 955 L'Enfant Plaza North, SW, Suite 4000, Washington DC 20024-2135. See the IMLS website at for the most current program information.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2015 Visit the IMLS website at to search awarded grants.
Fiscal Year 2016 Visit the IMLS website at to search awarded grants.
Fiscal Year 2023 Visit Choose Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian under "Program" and search by fiscal year, state, city, institution, and/or keyword.