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NFLS Youth Services: Libri Grant

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Since October 1990, the Libri Foundation has donated over $2,800,000 worth of new children's books to more than 2,200 libraries in 48 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. In order to encourage and reward local support of libraries, The Libri Foundation will match any amount of money raised by your local sponsors from $50 to $350 on a 2-to-1 ratio. Thus, a library can receive up to $1,050 worth of new children's books. After a library receives a grant, local sponsors (such as formal or informal Friends groups, civic or social organizations, local businesses, etc.) have four months or longer if necessary, to raise their matching funds.

The librarian of each participating library selects the books her library will receive from a booklist provided by the Foundation. The 700-plus fiction and nonfiction titles on the booklist reflect the very best of children's literature published primarily in the last three years. These titles, which are for children ages 12 and under, are award-winners or have received starred reviews in library, literary, or education journals. The booklist also includes a selection of classic children's titles.

Libraries are qualified on an individual basis. In general, county libraries should serve a population under 16,000 and town libraries should serve a population under 10,000 (usually under 5,000). Libraries should be in a rural area, have a limited operating budget, and an active children's department. Please note "rural" is usually considered to be at least 30 miles from a city with a population over 40,000. Town libraries with total operating budgets over $150,000 and county libraries with total operating budgets over $350,000 are rarely given grants.

Applications are accepted from independent libraries as well as libraries which are part of a county, regional, or cooperative library system. Grants are awarded three times a year. Application deadlines are: (postmarked by) January 15th, April 15th, and August 15th. Grants are awarded January 31st, April 30th, and August 31st. If you want your books in time for your summer reading program, please apply for a January grant. April grant recipients may not receive their books until after most summer reading programs begin.

Application guidelines and forms may be downloaded from the Foundation's website at www.librifoundation.org. For more information about The Libri Foundation or its Books for Children program, please contact Ms. Barbara J. McKillip, President, The Libri Foundation, PO Box 10246, Eugene, OR 97440; 541-747-9655(phone); 541-747-4348 (fax); libri@librifoundation.org (email).