Scholarships

The State Library is pleased to offer grants that provide library staff with opportunities to attend regional or national library conferences or continuing education opportunities which fulfill identified professional development or library community needs. 

The aim of this program is to increase access to funding for continuing education opportunities that will bolster professional growth for library staff and lead to positive impacts on library communities statewide.

Scholarship Awards

  • In-state conference/learning opportunity: Up to $1,000
  • Out-of-state conference/learning opportunity: Up to $2,500
  • Virtual conference/learning opportunity: Up to $500

Application Deadlines

Applications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis and applicants will be notified within 30 days of the application deadline.

  • September 1 - deadline for events occurring in November, December, January
  • December 1 - deadline for events occurring in February, March, April
  • March 1 - deadline for events occurring in May, June, or July
  • June 1 - deadline for events occurring in August, September, or October
Tab/Accordion Item

Information

Continuing Education grants are designed to provide library staff with opportunities to attend regional or national library conferences or continuing education opportunities which fulfill identified professional development needs for the participant and their role in the library.

County, municipal, and all academic libraries will be eligible for:

  • up to two (2) CE scholarships per year for in-person learning opportunities; and
  • up to five (5) CE scholarships per year for online/virtual learning opportunities.

Regional library systems will be eligible for:

  • up to four (4) CE scholarships per year for in-person learning opportunities; and
  • up to ten (10) CE scholarships per year for online/virtual learning opportunities.

Participants are limited to one (1) CE scholarship per year.

Special conference scholarships offered by the State Library are not eligible for the Continuing Education Scholarships program. Examples of these special scholarships are the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) Conference and North Carolina Library Association (NCLA) Conference. The State Library will announce these special scholarship opportunities separately. If you have a question about the eligibility of a conference/learning opportunity, please contact us before applying for a scholarship.

Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Scholarship awards will be based on availability of funds.

Funding is disbursed on a reimbursement basis. Maximum Continuing Education Awards:

  • In-state conference/learning opportunity: Up to $1000;
  • Out-of-state conference/learning opportunity: Up to $2500;
  • Virtual conference/learning opportunity: Up to $500

Eligible Expenses for In-Person Events:

  • Conference/CE Event registration (Pre-conference registration fees are NOT eligible);
  • Lodging;
  • Airfare or mileage; rental car fee;
  • Airline baggage fees, limited to one bag fee in each direction of travel;
  • Airport shuttle, taxi, or public transportation fees

Eligible Expenses for Online Events:

  • Conference/CE Event registration (Pre-conference registration fees are NOT eligible)

*Applicants/participants must cover expenses in excess of the maximum award. Meals/per diem are NOT eligible for reimbursement.

Procedures

Applications must be submitted online and a completed budget table is required with each application. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on the due date (September 1, December 1, March 1, or June 1) that is most appropriate for the event.

SLNC staff reviews the application for completeness and alignment with LSTA priorities and gives selected participant information to the State Librarian of North Carolina. Grants recommended for funding are subject to final approval by the State Librarian of North Carolina.

SLNC notifies applicants of the decision within thirty days of the due dates (September 1, December 1, March 1, or June 1) and sends out a grant agreement for signatures. The SLNC will enter an agreement with the employee’s library and the complete award packet is sent to the applicant for signature and includes instructions for reimbursement and evaluation by SLNC staff

The grant recipient submits financial receipts, an evaluation, and claim form to the SLNC within 30 days of the completion of the event.

The participant must be employed by a state-aid eligible public library, a community college library, a UNC system library, which includes libraries serving AHECS, or a North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities member library in North Carolina.

County, municipal, and all academic libraries will be eligible for:

  • up to two (2) CE scholarships per year for in-person learning opportunities; and
  • up to five (5) CE scholarships per year for online/virtual learning opportunities.

Regional library systems will be eligible for:

  • up to four (4) CE scholarships per year for in-person learning opportunities; and
  • up to ten (10) CE scholarships per year for online/virtual learning opportunities.

Scholarship applications must address how attending the specified CE event/conference will meet one or more of the LSTA priorities. (See the SLNC LSTA 5-Year Plan ). Please note that applications should describe how the learning taking place at the event or conference will specifically impact your work and the services that your library provides. “Networking”, while valuable, is not a sufficient justification for attending a continuing education event or conference.

Participants are limited to one CE Conference Grant during each State Fiscal Year (July-June). Grant awards are for up to $1,000 for in-state conferences/events, up to $2,500 for out-of-state conferences/events, and up to $500 for online conferences/events.

Grant funds may be used for registration, lodging, airfare, rental car, or mileage, airport shuttle/parking, airline baggage fees (1 bag each way), and public transportation. Grant funds may not be used for pre-conference fees, travel insurance, special speaker/event fees, award lunches or dinners, meals/per diem for the participant.

Applications are due by the corresponding due dates: September 1, December 1, March 1, or June 1 at least 60 calendar days prior to the start of the conference or event. Applications submitted 6 months prior to the start of the event will not be awarded. Applications submitted 6 months prior will need to be resubmitted at the appropriate deadline.

Applicant

The publicly-funded library applying for the grant award. Use the parent institution name. For example, Cameron Village Library would apply under Wake County Public Libraries.

Participant

Individual(s) receiving the educational content. The participant must be an employee or trustee of the applicant library.

Library Director

The head of the participant’s library institution.

Authorizing Official

The person at the institution that is able to accept federal grant funds on the institutions behalf. This person is generally a county or city manager, governing board chair, dean, or CFO. In most cases the library director is NOT the authorizing official.

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)

The federal program through which the State Library of North Carolina (SLNC) receives funding for the CE grant program. LSTA is a program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

The federal agency that awards LSTA funds to SLNC for administering in the State of North Carolina.

LSTA Scholarship FAQ

Who is the grantee?

Libraries will be the Applicants and become the Grantee of the CE grant. The individual staff member attending the conference/CE event will be the Participant/s. All grant agreements are made between the library (Grantee) and SLNC, not with the individual (or Participant).

Who receives the grant funds?

As the library is the official grantee, the funds are reimbursed to the library after completion of the activity. If the participant has personally paid for some grant-related expenses, he/she will need to request reimbursement from the library for those expenses.

What if my plans change and I can’t attend the library conference or complete the library course?

If the participant can no longer attend the conference/CE event, the participant must alert the Grants Officer at the SLNC in writing immediately, with an explanation for the change. The Grants Officer will add this written notification to their grant file and de-obligate the funds to the grantee. This allows the funds to become available for additional grants to other North Carolina library staff.

Can grant funds be transferred to another library employee?

The grant funds CANNOT be transferred to another library employee. The funds are awarded based on the specific responses to the application by the individual as well as the specific CE event and how it fills the need of a specific library or department.

What conferences or continuing education events are eligible for a scholarship?

All professional development opportunities that address library/community needs and meet LSTA priorities will be considered for a scholarship with the exception of NCLA and ARSL. These events are not limited to library-specific conferences or events and need for attendance at a continuing education event should be discussed in the application.

Sample Budget

Sample budget for a CE Scholarship application

Each submitted application is reviewed by SLNC staff. Staff will review:

  • Grant requirements;
  • Budget estimate;
  • Application narrative responses; and
  • Purpose of proposed use of funds.

Once your application has been approved and you have attended the event, please fill out the final report survey

Logo for the Institute of Museum and Library Services

This program is supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-249980-OLS-21) .