The State Library of North Carolina is excited to announce SLNC Adapts, a new grant opportunity for eligible North Carolina libraries. These funds will help libraries respond directly and immediately to community needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded the State Library this funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, Public Law 117-2 (ARPA).
The SLNC Adapts program invites proposals targeting high need communities in two application categories: EZ and Project. EZ grants are small, focused efforts to increase digital access. Project grants are for larger, collaborative initiatives that leverage partnerships in local communities to address the digital divide.
IMLS directed that these funds be used to achieve the American Rescue Plan Act’s purposes in alignment with the goals of SLNC’s 5-year plan. This funding is to help communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic, as well as to related economic and community needs through equitable approaches. Spending priorities are designated as follows:
- First, to support digital inclusion efforts to enable libraries to reach residents such as through internet hotspots, accessible Wi-Fi, and digital content and related resources, particularly in support of education, health, and workforce development needs.
- Second, to provide rapid emergency relief to libraries, allowing them to safely respond to the pandemic and implement public health protocols;
- Third, to support library services that meet the needs of their communities
- With respect to (1), (2), or (3), reach tribal and museum partners best positioned to assist with pandemic response efforts, where appropriate.
High-need communities can be identified in your application by using the following types of data:
- Economic Indicators, including but not limited to:
- Poverty rates
- Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP) participation rates
- Unemployment rates
- Broadband availability and adoption
As proposals are developed, applicants should explore and include relevant data for these and other variables including, but not limited to the following data sources:
- United States Census Bureau (including COVID-19 Demographic and Economic Resources)
- County level data provided from IMLS
- IPEDS grant aid data
- NC Broadband Infrastructure Office data on availability and adoption
SLNC Adapts will allow for continuation and expansion of existing applicable projects previously awarded through SLNC CARES, LSTA, NC Student Connect including Park & Learn.
Possible project ideas include, but are not limited to:
- Hotspots; including tablets and phones to use as hotspots
- Laptops/tablets/devices to support patron participation in online services such as tele-health, online classes, job interviews, and the digital economy,
- Extend or add WiFi coverage at your library or in the community
- Digital Navigators, trained library staff, and/or paid consultants to assist North Carolinians with digital literacy, workforce development and broadband adoption
North Carolina public libraries eligible for the Aid to Public Libraries Fund, community college, UNC system, and North Carolina Independent College and University (NCICU) libraries may submit one application for a SLNC Adapts EZ Grant and one application for a SLNC Adapts Project Grant.
- SLNC Adapts Information Session on Monday, May 10, 2021 at 2:00 pm (session will be recorded)
- Application closes at 11:59 pm on June 15, 2021
- Awards announced by July 15, 2021
- Grant period starts August 1, 2021
- Grant period ends June 31, 2022
- Final Report and reimbursements due August 31, 2021
SLNC Adapts EZ Grants
Project partners are encouraged but not required for the SLNC Adapts EZ Grant.
Maximum funds available to each library for the SLNC Adapts EZ grant is $25,000.00. No matching funds are required for this program.
SLNC Adapts Project Grants
Project partners are required for the SLNC Adapts Project Grant. Potential project partners include, but are not limited to:
- Other libraries
- Tribal partners
- Digital inclusion organizations
- Other public or private entities
A partner is defined as a library or non-library entity that will contribute specific deliverables to the project in a new or expanded way than has previously occurred with the partner. Friends groups or county/organizational departments that already support the library in some way do not meet this definition of a partner.
Maximum funds available to each library for the SLNC Adapts Project Grant is $100,000.00. No matching funds are required for this program.
Only complete applications will be reviewed. Complete applications include all required signatures and sections as described in the application instructions. Grant reviewers will score EZ and Project Grant applications with a rubric, based on the below criteria, that will be used to evaluate users and needs, project description, evaluation, budget, and community impact.
Applications received after 11:59 pm on June 15, 2021 will not be considered.
- Application targets a high need community. Description of the community to be served supported by appropriate, relevant community data.
- Application includes a well-defined benefit or planned benefit to patrons demonstrating it is user-focused. Application makes a compelling case as to why the project is needed in the community.
- Application provides a detailed description of the project, its goals, and its activities. Describe any collaboration planned with other community partner organizations, detailing benefits to the library and to the community partner organization.
- Application sets achievable, measurable outcomes, and presents a reasonable method to collect data. Applicant should present a method to count users of the services, as well as a method to measure the effectiveness of the service. Use of outcome-based evaluation (OBE) is recommended in addition to output data.
- Funds requested must be for reasonable, necessary, and allowable costs to achieve the project’s goals; the application should provide rationale to support how the proposed expenditures were determined and why each is needed to achieve the project goals.
- First priority will be given to applications that focus on digital inclusion efforts in high-need communities. As funds allows, projects to address IMLS designated funding priorities 2 and 3 will be considered in that order.
- Consulting or contractual services;
- Evaluation to show the extent to which the project has met its goals;
- Accessories and supplies that are necessary to support the project;
- Hardware, software, and/or technology necessary to support the project;
- Salaries and benefits for temporary staff to be employed for the project OR temporary staff to be employed to cover duties of full-time personnel while the full-time person works on the project. Temporary staff means part-time or full-time personnel hired specifically to help carry out the project, or additional hours for existing part-time staff. The project description should clearly explain the need for added staff.
- Subscriptions and licenses within the grant period that support digital inclusion efforts;
- Travel and/or training expenses related to the project for library or project staff; and
- Indirect costs;
- Other expenses that are reasonable and necessary to support the project.
- Activities or programs about advocacy, grant writing, or lobbying with a purpose of increasing funding and/or whose primary purpose is to establish a general message that 'libraries are good places and deserve to exist';
- Architectural plans for existing or new buildings;
- Collection development activities, including electronic materials;
- Construction or pre-construction planning;
- Construction or renovation of facilities (generally, any activity involving contract labor in the construction trades is not allowable);
- Conventional arrangement, description, or cataloging of materials;
- Costs associated with content management systems (such as CONTENTdm);
- Digitizing runs of newspapers;
- Events, festivals, staff training, or acquisition of collections when any of these are the majority of requested funds;
- Fundraising costs;
- General advertising or public relations costs not specific to LSTA-funded activities;
- General operating support;
- Ongoing expenditures such as subscriptions, utilities, Internet access, or other services past the grant period;
- Pre-award costs;
- Promotional items and memorabilia including gifts, incentives, and souvenirs;
- Refreshments, entertainment, ceremonies, receptions, or social events;
- Salaries, wages, and/or benefits for existing full-time employees;
- Services or software licenses that extend beyond the project’s funding period;
- Sub-awards; and
- Other expenses prohibited by state or federal regulations.
- Be familiar with and understand the Guidelines and Application Instructions available online; contact the State Library with any questions.
- Use the Application Template below to provide responses to the numbered items.
- 12 page maximum including the budget table; Online Signature Page not included in maximum
- Complete and submit the SLNC Adapts Online Signature Page.
- Email the signed SLNC Adapts Online Signature Page and the Application Form as one attachment to LSTA@ncdcr.gov by 11:59 PM on June 15, 2021.
Questions about this program should be directed to Catherine Prince, Federal Programs Consultant, at email@example.com