American Rescue Plan Act Funding

Libraries Keep Students Learning and Adults Earning /American Rescue Plan Act Grant

from the Idaho Commission for Libraries

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 was signed into law on March 11. It designates $200 million in pandemic response funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Of the $200 million, $178 million is allocated for state library administrative agencies. Idaho’s allotment of the ARPA funding was approximately $2.4 million. More than 90% of Idaho’s allotment ($1.8M) has gone directly to Idaho libraries through the “Keep Students Learning and Adults Earning” grant to libraries.

Through the Learn/Earn grant, the ICfL was able to fund 48 libraries and a variety of projects across Idaho. Grantees included public, school, academic, and special libraries, which includes tribal.

An additional $310,000 was provided through a separate opportunity to 96 Idaho public libraries to help them purchase digital content through OverDrive.

Grant Purpose:

To achieve the American Rescue Plan Act’s purposes with respect to State Library Agencies (SLAs), this funding is to be used in helping communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic, as well as to related economic and community needs through equitable approaches. 

Idaho libraries are encouraged to focus grant projects on keeping students learning and/or adults earning.

IMLS priorities and allowable uses of grant funds include:

  1. First, to enable libraries to reach residents with internet hotspots, accessible Wi-Fi, and other digital inclusion efforts*, particularly in support of education, health, and workforce development needs.  The following types of data, among others, can inform efforts to reach underserved populations:
    • Poverty/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Unemployment
    • Broadband availability
  2. Second, to provide rapid emergency relief to libraries across the country, allowing them to safely respond to the pandemic and implement public health protocols;
  3. Third, to support library services that meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S., including costs such as personnel, technology, training, materials, supplies, equipment, and associated indirect costs; and
  4. With respect to (a), (b), or (c), reach tribal…partners best positioned to assist with pandemic response efforts, in addition to traditionally eligible library entities, where appropriate.”

*For more information on libraries and digital inclusion, see ICfL’s digital inclusion webpage.

Eligibility:

Idaho public, school, academic, tribal, and special libraries may apply for these funds. One application/award per Idaho public library jurisdiction (there are 104 Idaho library jurisdictions) is allowed. School districts OR an individual school library can apply separately. However, school libraries may only be a part of one application so please talk with your district if you plan to apply separately. All entities must meet the minimum eligibility requirements: https://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/current/30/300101.pdf

DUNS Number:

Moving forward, all Idaho libraries will need a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number to receive federal grants from the ICfL, including ARPA Grants. Getting a DUNS number can take a bit of time, so please look into this for your library immediately. Libraries should note that if they are under their city, school district, etc., that entity may already have a DUNS number you should use. To check to see if your organization has a DUNS number, look here: https://www.dnb.com/duns-number/lookup.html. To start the process for a free DUNS number, call 866.705.5711 or go to fedgov.dnb.com/webform.  Please note that we have been informed by other states that calling results in about a 10-day turnaround versus 30 days for the website.

Requirements:

All libraries awarded a Learning and Earning/ARPA Grant will be required to implement grant activities between July 1, 2021 and August 11, 2022 and must submit an Interim Grant Report by January 13, 2022 and a Final Grant Report by August 11, 2022. All awardees must follow the expenditures guidelines outlined below (see “Allowable Expenditures” and “Non-Allowable Expenditures” sections.)

There are no minimum or maximum request amounts for this grant, however, please be aware that if your library receives more than $30,000 (cumulatively) in federal grant funds from the ICfL between October 1 and September 30, your library may be subject to additional reporting or federal audit requirements. For example, if you received a $1,000 CE/Summer Intern Grant and a $29,000 Learning and Earning/ARPA Grant, your library would reach this threshold.

Additional Reporting Requirements:

For certain types of grant activities, IMLS requires that we collect responses to a small set of outcome questions. If your project includes any of the aspects listed on the application as requiring this reporting, you will be provided the required questions at the start of the grant and will need to solicit responses from your participants throughout grant implementation.

Other considerations when forming your ICfL-ARPA Grant request:

ARPA funds are being allocated to other federal and state agencies besides IMLS and ICfL. Consider some of these other funding sources when crafting your Learning and Earning/ARPA Grant for ICfL:

  • For mobile hot spots and Wi-Fi capable devices, etc. reimbursement, consider the Emergency Connectivity Fund through the FCC’s E-rate program – Contact ICfL’s Library Technology Consultant, William Lamb, for more information about E-Rate at: william.lamb@libraries.idaho.gov or (208) 639-4135.
  • For broadband support, consider the Treasury Funds;
  • For library services/programming relating to the arts and humanities, consider contacting the Idaho Humanities Council at https://www.idahohumanities.org/grants/
  • For e-books, ICfL plans to offer each public library branch and bookmobile $1,000 – $1,500 to support OverDrive e-book access – Contact ICfL’s E-Services Program Supervisor, Dylan Baker, for more information about Overdrive support at: dylan.baker@libraries.idaho.gov or (208) 639-4167.

ICfL staff will be facilitating access to these opportunities and encourages libraries to research these fund sources as well – see ALA’s handout.

In addition to the broad funding priorities/categories described above, please see the attached list of items for some examples of allowable uses of IMLS funds.

  1. Capital expenditures related to the purchase of real property, buildings, or motor vehicles*;
  2. Capital expenditures related to the construction, renovation expansion of facilities, including fixtures and services**;
  3. Food, beverages, or food delivery equipment or services;
  4. Awards, honoraria, prizes, apparel, or gifts;
  5. Advertising or public relations costs not related to not related to your grant.

*Please note that sprinter vans and bookmobiles may be allowable. If you are interested in including this as a part of your project, please contact ICfL’s Grants Officer Jamie Mott to discuss.

**Some exceptions can be made to help prevent the spread of COVID. For example, if your library building lacks good ventilation, HVAC equipment may be an allowable cost if you are able to fund the installation of that equipment from your library budget. Please check with the ICfL Grants Officer if you are considering something like this.

Informational Grant Webinar: Thursday, May 12, 2021 @10:30 a.m. MST/ 9:30 a.m. PST. No registration required. (Zoom link; Meeting ID:812 8197 9570; Passcode: 309001)

Application Period: May 12 – June 15, 2021

Application Deadline: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 @ 5:00 p.m. MST/ 4:00 pm. PST

Grant Award Announcement: July 1, 2021

Award Disbursals: approx. July 15, 2021

Grant Implementation Period: July 15, 2021 – August 11, 2022

Interim Grant Report Deadline: January 13, 2022

Final Grant Report Deadline: August 11, 2022

We have compiled some of the key grant information in a printable document:

EASY REFERENCE GUIDE

ICfL’s Libraries Keep Students Learning and Adults Earning ARPA Grant Reporting Walk-through

Grant Application

  • Application Period: May 12 – June 15, 2021
  • Application Deadline: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 @ 5:00 p.m. MST/ 4:00 pm. PST
Submit Grant Application

Grant Reports

  • An Interim Grant Report will be due by January 13, 2022
  • A Final Grant Report will be due by August 11, 2022
Interim Grant Report
Final Grant Report

Questions? Contact ICfL:

If you have questions about the grant application, allowable expenditures, or any other grant related questions, please contact Talela Florko, Grants/Contracts Officer, at talela.florko@libraries.idaho.gov, (208) 639-4158) or Amelia Valasek, Partnerships Program Supervisor, at amelia.valasek@libraries.idaho.gov, (208) 639-4138.

Amelia Valasek

Amelia Valasek

Program Supervisor
Email / 208-639-4138
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This program is brought to you by the Idaho Commission for Libraries and was made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.