Facilities & Capital Improvements

This page is the ICfL’s hub for resources related to library facilities and capital improvement projects. Whether you’re creating a building maintenance schedule, thinking of remodeling your children’s programming area, or building a whole new library, this is a good place to start.  

Please check back regularly, as we are still growing and expanding these resources! If you have any questions or needs that aren’t addressed here, please reach out to us so we can connect you with the resources and support you need.  

2024 Facilities Workshop – March 13, Boise ID

Registration for the 2024 Facilities Workshop is open to all eligible libraries/staff until 5pm on January 26th. Please visit the event page for more details and to access the registration form.

Resources

This section is still in development. Please check back as we continue to add resources. If you have a specific question about your facility or a capital improvement project, feel free to reach out to us directly.

Facilities Webinar Series

Is your library considering a remodel, expansion, or new building? Whether you are just beginning your journey and need to know where to start, or you are currently living in a construction zone and wondering how offer services, we’ve got a webinar for you.

The ICfL is excited to be working in partnership with Library Strategies to offer a series of eight webinars covering various aspects of facilities and capital improvement projects, from needs assessment to construction to grand (re)opening and everything in between. Although special focus will be made on small and rural public libraries, all libraries are welcome to attend. These webinars are free of charge and open to the entire Idaho library community. However, registration is required. If you can’t make a webinar that interests you, don’t worry! They will all be recorded, and the recording, slides, and resources will be posted after each webinar.

Each webinar will take place at 10am MT/ 9am PT. Please visit the event listing for each individual webinar for details and registration:

Webinar 1:
Remodels, Rebuilds, & Expansions 101

Webinar 4:
Architects, Contractors, & Bidding

Webinar 5:
Construction Administration

Webinar 6:
Moving &
(Re)Opening

March 7, 2024

Register for Webinar 6

Recording and materials will be made available following the event.

Webinar 7:
Case Study Spotlight #1 Renovating & Redesigns

April 4, 2024

Register for Webinar 7

Recording and materials will be made available following the event.

Webinar 8:
Case Study Spotlight #2 New Builds & Rebuilds

May 2, 2024

Register for Webinar 8

Recording and materials will be made available following the event.

Document Request Form

Manuals and Guidelines

The following manuals and guidelines provide helpful information and guidance for libraries who are considering or undertaking a major facility project (remodel, expansion, new building, etc).These documents have been vetted by the ICfL and are being made freely available to Public Libraries (city and district) in Idaho. The ICfL is providing access to these documents through paid, limited-usage agreements with the authors. Libraries who wish to obtain copies of either or both of these documents may do so by submitting a request to the ICfL using the form linked below (the same form can be used for either document).

Library Building and Space Planning Guidebook

This guidebook, written by John Thompson, provides a quick overview, not an all-inclusive guide to the potentially overwhelming (yet very rewarding) experience of building a new library. Each chapter includes a brief narrative section, followed by a series of resources for the reader to consider. Chapters include assessing your space, projecting the size of the future building, hiring an architect, thinking about possible spaces to include within the building, furnishing the space, and other tips for a successful project.

It is intended to be used like a workbook. Use the sections as you need them. There are a variety of forms/templates with instructions you can use to gather/present your information.

You may feel overwhelmed by all the information you (and your team) need to create and gather. The appendices include samples to help guide you through the building process. You may want to review those samples as a first step, so you know what you are working toward.

The ICfL is providing up to one copy per legal entity of the guidebook to city and district public libraries. Additional copies of the guidebook may be purchased by contacting the author (see below).

About the author

John has over 30 years of public library administration experience including 16 years as the Director of the IFLS Library System (Eau Claire, WI). He regularly consults on all aspects of library administration and planning. As the library system’s building consultant, he has worked with over 30 public libraries on various aspects of space planning and building projects including space needs assessment, architect selection, interior layouts, funding, assisting owner representative at construction meetings, furniture selection, and space re-configurations.

John has presented various webinars and at various conferences including The Association for Rural & Small Libraries and the Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries on library buildings and space planning.

John recently launched his own consulting firm JT Library Planning.  John can be reached at jtlibraryplanning@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jtlibraryplanningwi for more information regarding his consulting services.


2023 Idaho Procurement Manual

Each year, the Association of Idaho Cities publishes an updated procurement manual designed to acquaint Idaho’s city officials with the procedures and requirements related to the acquisition of goods, services, and public works construction in compliance with Idaho law. This manual is intended to acquaint Idaho’s city officials with procedures and requirements for the acquisition of goods, services and public works construction in compliance with Idaho law. Procedures vary for bidding on public works; for purchasing materials and supplies unrelated to public works; and for purchasing architectural, engineering or landscape architectural services. There are also different thresholds that determine whether a city can make purchases without going out for bid. Cities should establish sound policies and processes in the pursuit of efficient and cost-effective procurement that will result in the most beneficial outcome for the city. The overarching theme is practicing good stewardship of public resources.

The ICfL is providing up to one copy per legal entity of the manual to city and district public libraries. Additional copies of the manual may be purchased on the AIC website at https://idahocities.org/store/

About the AIC

The Association of Idaho Cities was formed in 1947 and is a nonpartisan, nonprofit corporation that serves Idaho’s 199 cities. AIC advocates on behalf of cities, and provides education, training and assistance to strengthen the ability of city elected officials and staff to serve their communities. Find out more about them and their work by visiting their website at https://idahocities.org/

Document Request Form

Facilities Improvement Grants

The ICfL will award $3.35 million in grant funds to public libraries for the purpose of improving and/or expanding library facilities. Below are the grant basics. Please see the expandable sections for more specific information (click on the + sign to expand or collapse each section). These funds have been made available through the US Treasury Department’s Capital Projects Funds (CDFA # 21.029 CPF)

  • What: This competitive grant will fund facilities improvements and capital projects that expand or enhance a library’s facilities and ability to serve their community. This includes construction costs. Projects must jointly enable work, education, and health monitoring.  
  • Who: This grant is open to tax-funded public libraries in Idaho, as defined in Idaho Code Title 33 Chapters 26 (city libraries) and Chapter 27 (district libraries). Libraries must be open to and serve the general public. Applicants must also have a current valid UEI Number. For more information on UEI Numbers, please see the FAQ section below.
  • Award Amounts: Grant awards will range from $5,000 to $500,000. To ensure that small, medium, and large projects are given fair consideration, grants will be reviewed and awarded in three tiers, based on the size of the amount requested.
  • Application Process: Applicants must complete a two-part application process, submitting a letter of intent (open January 20 – February 27, 2023), followed by a full application (open April 24 – June 12, 2023). Applicants must submit a letter of intent in order to receive an invitation to apply and access to the full application.
  • General Timeline: The grant application process will run from January through June 2023. The ICfL will notify grant recipients in July 2023 and begin disbursing funds in August 2023. The grant performance period (when projects are carried out) will run for three years, from August 2023 to August 2026. All projects must be substantially complete by August 2026.
  • January 20, 2023: Letter of intent form opens for submissions. 
  • February 8, 2023: Webinar to discuss the grant, general questions, and specifics regarding letter of intent process. A recording is available in the “Information Webinars” section of this page.  
  • February 27, 2023: Letters of intent due (must include a signed letter from the library’s governing body). 
  • March 2023: Legislative budget hearings conclude (anticipated). The ICfL will know whether we can move forward with the facilities grant project. All milestones after this date are tentative and will depend on the legislature’s final approval of the ICfL budget.  
  • April 24, 2023: The ICfL sends the full grant application to libraries with qualifying letters of intent. Libraries will have 7 weeks to complete the application.  
  • May 16, 2023 11am MT: Applicant webinar to discuss the grant and answer questions about the full application.  See the event page for full details on accessing this webinar. A recording will be available for those who cannot attend. 
  • June 12, 2023: Applications due.  
  • [Anticipated] Now July 28 (previously July 17), 2023: The ICfL notifies all applicants about whether they were selected for a grant and begins working with grantees on finalizing grant agreements. 
  • [Anticipated] Mid/Late August 2023 (TBD): The ICfL begins disbursing funds to selected applicants. Please note that some applicants receiving larger grants in Tier 2 and 3 may not receive the full amount of their grant as a lump sum. Instead, they may receive a series of payments spread over the grant performance period.  
  • [Anticipated] Mid/Late August 2023 (TBD): Grantee orientation webinar. 
  • August 2023 to August 2026: Grant performance period. Grantees will carry out their projects and may also be asked to submit periodic progress reports. Please see the reporting section for reporting requirements and due dates. 
  • August 2026: Grant period closes. All grant funds must be expended, and all projects must be substantially complete.  

If approved through the 2023 legislative process, $3.35 million dollars will be available through the U.S. Treasury Department’s Capital Projects Fund for Idaho public libraries, issued as subgrants. Funds must be used for the construction or improvement of buildings designed to jointly and directly enable work, education, and health monitoring in communities with critical need for the project.

The subgrant process will be competitive and will require a comprehensive application. Funding will be awarded in tiers to accommodate libraries and projects of all sizes, budgets, and capacity.

  • Tier 1: Grants ranging in size from $5,000 to $25,000. We will award up to a total of $300,000 in Tier 1 grants.
  • Tier 2: Grants ranging from $25,001 to $150,000. We will award up to a total of $1,050,000 in Tier 2 grants.
  • Tier 3: Grants ranging from $150,001 to $500,000. We will award up to a total of $2,000,000 in Tier 3 grants.

The total number of grants awarded in each tier will depend on the dollar amounts requested by and awarded to selected grantees. This tiered approach will ensure that small, medium, and large projects are only competing against other projects of similar size and scope.

Funding Source & Citation:

Capital Projects Fund CFDA # 21.029 (CPF)Public Law 117-2. Title III Section 604 of the ARP Act (ARPA) established the Capital Projects Fund and provides $10 billion for Treasury to make payments to States, Tribes, Territories, and Freely Associated States to carry out critical capital projects that directly enable work, education, and health monitoring including remote options in response to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19.

Funds must be used for the construction or improvement of buildings.

Funded projects must be substantially complete by August 2026. This means that the project is ready to fulfill the primary objectives that it was designed to perform, delivering services to end users.

Funded projects must remain in operations and available to the public for no less than five years after the close of the grant period.

Funded projects must be designed to jointly and directly enable the three areas of work, education, and health monitoring in communities with critical need for the project (although these activities need not be the exclusive function or purpose of the project). Here are the federal definitions of these activities:

  • Work: Activities to help community members engage in employment, search for employment, and/or develop the skills and knowledge to become employed (e.g., participate in career counseling programs, workforce training courses, job searches, etc.).
  • Education: Activities to acquire knowledge and/or skills, undertaken as part of a person’s participation in (but not limited to) school, an academic program, extra-curricular activity, social-emotional development program, internship, or professional development program.
  • Health Monitoring: Services to monitor an individual’s physical or mental health. These can include, but are not limited to, telehealth appointments and community health screening programs.

Allowable costs include those incurred to create, enhance, or expand the usable permanent interior or exterior space of the library, such that these improvements allow the library to meet one or more of following objectives:   

  • Accommodate a greater number of patrons in the conduct of qualifying programs and services, including (but not limited to) expanding the existing interior footprint of the facility or creating outdoor programming areas.
  • Accommodate a wider variety of uses related to work, education, and health monitoring, including (but not limited to) the creation of private, digitally enabled spaces for telehealth, job interviews, virtual training, and studying; the creation of flexible-use programming spaces; and creating or expanding spaces for the storage of related program supplies.
  • Accommodate a larger number and type of resources related to work, education, and health monitoring, including (but not limited to) the space and shelving to house expanded collections, both print and electronic.
  • Upgrade digital infrastructure (such as cables, networking equipment and hardware, power supplies and transformers, switch boxes, and connection points) to enhance the capacity of the library to support emerging and future technology and prevent obsolescence.

What is a UEI Number? Does my library have one? Where do we get one? 

Because the funding source for this grant is federal tax dollars, anyone receiving funds must have a federal Unique Entity Identification number (UEI). The UEI system replaced the DUNs system in April 2022. The ICfL started requiring a UEI number for its federally-funded subgrants in April 2022.

If your library operates under the umbrella of a larger entity, such as a city or county, that entity may already have a UEI that the library can use. If your library has applied for a grant with the ICfL since April of 2022, you may already have a UEI.

If you aren’t sure if you have a UEI or if you need to apply for one, please review these instructions, which were emailed to libraries in April, 2022.

What are some examples of qualifying projects?

Qualifying projects can range from small ($5,000) improvements to major ($500,000) expansions. Examples include:

  • Adding/removing/moving interior walls
  • Adding a new room to an existing building
  • Conducting repairs to an otherwise unusable or unsuitable portion of a building
  • Purchasing new equipment or furniture to make existing or new spaces fully functional
  • Upgrading a building’s electrical wiring to accommodate new or expanded technology

Also allowable are costs related to carrying out the project, such as architectural reviews, professional services, and staff time spent planning and coordinating the project.

What are some examples of projects that aren’t allowable?

Projects that are not allowable include normal upkeep and maintenance, as well as changes that don’t improve or enhance how the space is used. This includes upgrades that are primarily cosmetic in nature (such as repainting a wall) and expenses normally associated with the regular upkeep and maintenance of an existing facility (such as a new roof or new siding).

Maintenance and repair expenses are allowable if they are necessary as part of a larger project to enhance or expand the library’s facilities – for example if the library must replace a portion of the roof in order to build out a new addition.

Do programming and collection development costs qualify?

This grant is not intended to support programming or collection development costs, except where those costs are directly related to meeting the requirement for work, education, and health monitoring in the space being enhance/created. These types of costs will be given lower priority in the overall consideration of proposed projects.

My library’s project is expensive. Will the ICfL consider a partial award if it is unable to fund our full request?

Yes, we will consider partial funding in cases where we wish to support a project but are unable to award the entire amount requested. In these cases, we will contact applicants in advance of issuing a grant agreement to determine if they wish to accept a reduced amount.

Can we combine this grant with other funding to carry out our project?

Yes. Funds from this grant can be combined with funds from other public and private sources to carry out your project. However, to qualify for this grant, the project must be substantially complete by August 2026, regardless of other funding sources. Substantial completion is defined as the date by which the project can fulfill the primary operations that it was designed to perform, including delivering services to end-users. At substantial completion, service operations and management systems infrastructure must be operational.

What are some ways my library can meet the requirement to jointly and directly enable work, education, and health monitoring?

Your library may already be supporting many of these activities! Some examples include hosting public programming like community health screenings, educational and literacy programming, and workforce training classes.

Other examples include establishing private spaces within the library to accommodate telehealth appointments and meetings with case workers or Department of Labor job services counselors.

Libraries may also use grant funds to create additional space or purchase shelving and equipment to house an expanded collection of print, electronic, and other resources related to work, education, and health monitoring.

If you are unsure whether your project meets this requirement, please contact us so we can answer your questions.

What if I still have questions about whether my library’s project qualifies?

Reach out to discuss your plans! You may be surprised to find your project qualifies. Contact ICfL Partnerships and Programs Supervisor Amelia Valasek at (208) 639-4138 or amelia.valasek@libraries.idaho.gov.

Why is the ICfL releasing this grant opportunity before funds have been secured? 

We want libraries to have the maximum amount of time to prepare their projects and to spend their grants, should these funds be approved. We also want to make sure libraries receive notification early enough in the summer to incorporate these grants into their annual budget planning process. The two-step application allows us to get this process started while the legislature is still in session, without requiring libraries to complete a full application until after the legislature has convened.

What happens if the state legislature does not approve using U.S. Treasury Department Capital Projects Funds for library projects?

The 2023 Idaho legislative session is the last opportunity for this funding to be approved and for these grants to move forward. If the state legislature fails to approve this item in the ICfL’s budget, the grant application process will be halted. We have designed the application timeline to minimize the impact of this possibility on library time and effort in the process. The ICfL will keep libraries updated on developments.

Are there any other federal requirements associated with this grant, such as Davis-Bacon wages, Buy America, or National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)? 

  • Davis-Bacon: This law does not apply to any project that is funded solely with this grant. However, if your project is supported with any other federal funding, this rule may apply. The Treasury Department encourages recipients to incorporate strong labor standards that promote effective and efficient delivery of high-quality projects but that also support the economic recovery through strong employment opportunities for workers. Treasury further encourages recipients to prioritize employers (including contractors and subcontractors) without recent violations of federal and state labor/employment laws.
  • NEPA & Other Environmental Rules: For a full list of applicable federal environmental rules, please review this PDF provided by Treasury. With regards to NEPA specifically, this law does not apply to projects funded solely with this grant. However, if your project is supported with any other federal funding, this rule may apply.
  • Buy America Act: Review of this item is still underway as it applies to this grant. Please check back.

Print (PDF) versions of the slides and speaker notes from these webinars are available upon request.

General Information and Letter of Intent (February 8, 2023)

Full Application Walk Through (May 16, 2023)

To be considered for funding, libraries must complete a two-step application process, which includes (1) submitting a letter of intent, followed by (2) a full application. The primary purpose of the letter of intent is to screen applicants and projects for basic eligibility and to gauge the overall level of interest in this grant for planning purposes. All projects that meet the qualifying eligibility requirements will be invited to submit a full application. Only applicants who have submitted a letter of intent will be given access to the application form. 

Letter of Intent – Due February 27

All libraries who wish to be considered for a Facilities Improvement Grant must submit a letter of intent using the form linked below. While this form should not take long to complete, it does require that libraries upload a signed letter of approval from their governing bodies. For this reason, we strongly encourage libraries to add this item to the agenda for their January/February board meeting. If the timing of your board meetings is not compatible with the due date for the letter of intent, please reach out to us as soon as possible so we can discuss options for meeting this requirement.  

Submitting a letter of intent does not obligate a library to complete the full application process. While the purpose of the letter of intent is to signal your intent to apply for this grant, we understand that circumstances can change. If your library submits a letter of intent and later declines to submit a full application, this will not affect your standing for other opportunities or grants with the ICfL.   

Application – Anticipated Release April 24, 2023

We currently anticipate releasing the full application on Monday, April 24, but this date may change depending on several factors. To give libraries the maximum amount of time to complete the full application, the ICfL will provide seven full weeks between the application release date and the application due date. You can access the application using the button below once it is live. Additionally, a link to the applicant budget template is provided below the application button.


Subrecipients of the Facilities and Capital Improvement Grants can find reporting forms here.

Quarterly Update Reports (Due each quarter)

This report is due every three months on the last day of the quarter (December 31, March 31, June 30, September 30). Use the same form to submit your report each quarter.

Supplemental Report – Audit (Due Jan 31, 2024)

The ICfL is required to collect this one-time information from subrecipients in order to comply with federal monitoring requirements.

Final Report (Due within 90 days of project completion)

This report form is still in progress. If you are ready to submit your final report, please reach out to the ICfL’s grants officer or the project coordinator.

Amelia Valasek

Amelia Valasek

Partnerships and Programs Supervisor
Email / 208-639-4138
Read my Blogs