American Rescue Plan Act graphic with State Library logo, a semi-transparent American flag, and an image of the United States Capitol dome.

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

August 2, 2021 – The deadline to apply for the ARPA Outreach Grant has passed.

Subscribe to the  ARPA-OH announcement email list for the latest news and announcements. There’s also a mailing list with information and announcements:

What is ARPA  2021?

American Library Association (ALA)

Detailed guidance from ALA on the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This web page includes information about the pandemic response funding for states allocated to the Institute of Museum and Library Services and other funding channels that may be available for libraries.

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

ARPA of 2021 designates $200 million in pandemic response funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The $200 million investment will provide critical funding to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs), located in every U.S. state and territory, with reach into local communities across the country. In Ohio, the State Library of Ohio will receive $4,547,789 in one-time federal ARPA funds through the IMLS Grants to States program.

U.S. Congress

Read the American Rescue Plan Act at CONGRESS.GOV to see the chronology of the bill including actions, amendments, cosponsors, and related bill.

The deadline to apply for the ARPA Outreach Grant has passed. The following  is provided for information purposes only.

The State Library of Ohio is pleased to announce the launch of the ARPA Outreach Grant program initiative. Utilizing federal ARPA funds, received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS ), the State Library of Ohio encourages Ohio of all types to apply for this competitive grant program revolving around the concept of Outreach.

Application proposals are being accepted in three categories:

Outreach and Education Proposals may request between $5,000 and $24,999 in federal funds. Proposals must demonstrate the need for a program or educational initiative to enhance the development of library staff and/or library users.

Community Connections Proposals may request between $25,000 and $49,999 in federal funds. Proposals must demonstrate a willingness for libraries to meet users where they are in the communities they serve.

Outreach Initiatives Proposals may request between $50,000 and $100,000 in federal funds. Proposals must demonstrate a large-scale, well-coordinated outreach endeavor on the part of the library.

All types of Ohio libraries are eligible to apply for ARPA Outreach Grant funds. Applicant proposals may request up to $100,000 in these federal funds; due to the nature of ARPA funds, NO local cash match of the total project cost is required.

A complete application proposal package must be submitted through this webpage under the Outreach Grant Application tab by 11:59 pm, August 1, 2021. R

For more  information and responses to frequently asked questions, please see the ARPA Outreach Grant FAQ tab or the ARPA Outreach Grant Request for Proposals tab.

Recommended application proposals will be presented to the State Library Board for funding in September 2021. The ARPA Outreach Grant contract period runs from November 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022.

Questions may be addressed to LSTA Coordinator, Cindy Boyden via LSTA@library.ohio.gov , 800-686-1532 or 614- 644-6863 or Associate State Librarian for Library Development, Evan T. Struble via estruble@library.ohio.gov, 614-752-9178.

State Library staff will be hosting a live ARPA Outreach Grant Q&A Office Hour webinar from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. on July 8, 2021. Potential applicants are encouraged to drop in and ask questions they may have about the ARPA Outreach Grant.


Join the ARPA-OH announcement list to receive news and information about American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) library initiatives and programs in Ohio supported through the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the State Library of Ohio.

The deadline to apply for the ARPA Outreach Grant has passed. The following  is provided for information purposes only.

When is the deadline?

ARPA Outreach Grant application proposals must be submitted via this webpage under the Outreach Grant Application tab by 11:59 pm, August 1, 2021.

What is the grant term?

Every approved ARPA Outreach Grant project will have a contract period of November 1, 2021 – July 31, 2022.

How many ARPA Outreach Grants are institutions eligible to receive?

Public libraries: One per library system
A public library system with multiple branches is eligible for one grant to share—not one grant per branch location in the system.

Academic libraries: One per campus
An academic library is eligible to share one grant with libraries on the same campus or branch location. A college or university library system may apply for one grant per campus or satellite location.

K-12 libraries: One per school district
School libraries within a school district are eligible for one grant to share—not one grant per high school, middle school, and elementary school locations in the district.

Can draft proposals be submitted for review?

Due to the anticipated volume of submissions, DRAFT proposals will not be reviewed for this initiative.

Can the application be saved and returned to later to finish?

Applications must be completed in ONE SITTING.

How will applying institutions know their submission was successfully submitted?

The State Library provides a two-step verification process.

First, a pop-up will appear immediately after selecting “Submit.”  The following language will appear on the screen:

screenshot of text thanking applicant for submitting application proposal for ARPA Outreach GrantSecond, the Project Coordinator will receive a confirmation email containing a PDF with responses to the online form as well as a list of all submitted attachments.

What documents are required as part of the application proposal package?

A completed, signed ARPA Proposed Budget must be uploaded as part of the application.
A completed Narrative section, including Abstract and Project Summary, must be uploaded as part of the application.
Any corresponding Appendices must be uploaded as part of the application.

Is there a size limit for uploading files for the application proposal package?

Maximum TOTAL combined  upload size may not exceed 15MB.  In other words… Its not the total number of documents that is limited. It is the total size of them all together that must not exceed 15 MG.

Is an original signature required on the application proposal?

No. An electronic signature may be added using your finger, stylus, or mouse when completing the online application form. See example below. Only one signature is required. This single electronic signature verifies the awareness and support of the applying library’s Fiscal Officer, Library Director/Administering Official/Principal and Library Board/Provost/Superintendent.

cropped screenshot showing example of a digital signature using a finger

Where can I find the U.S. and State legislative district numbers needed to complete the application?

Map of U.S. House of Representatives Districts in Ohio

Ohio House and Senate Districts – Who Represents Me?

Must institutions be CIPA Compliant to receive an ARPA Grant?

Projects which provide access to the Internet require compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA); this means Internet access must be filtered as required by the federal LSTA funding. You will be asked to check one of the following:

  • My institution is CIPA compliant
  • Grant funds will not be used to purchase items enabling access to the Internet
  • My institution does not require CIPA

For additional information, please see CIPA and LSTA.

How will awarded institutions receive the grant funds?

In order to receive awarded grant funds, your library must be listed within Ohio Shared Services (OSS). If your institution has received LSTA grant funds in the past, an account already exists. Most K-12 school systems have an established OSS account. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU CONTACT OSS DIRECTLY (ohiosharedservices@ohio.gov or 1-877-644-6771) TO VERIFY YOUR LIBRARY’S INFORMATION.

NEW TO SAM.GOV: A QUICK OVERVIEW FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE APPLICANTS

What kind of reporting is required for this grant?

As the State Library of Ohio receives directives from IMLS, reporting updates will be posted here. Please stay tuned.

________________________________________
Should you have additional questions, please contact the LSTA Department via LSTA@library.ohio.gov or Associate State Librarian for Library Development, Evan Struble, via estruble@library.ohio.gov.

The deadline to apply for the ARPA Outreach Grant has passed. The following  is provided for information purposes only.

Associate State Librarian for Library Development, Evan T. Struble, and LSTA Coordinator, Cindy Boyden, provide an overview of the State Library of Ohio’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Outreach Grant Initiative. In this recording, viewers will learn about ARPA-allowable expenses, what makes a strong application narrative, and necessary attachments when applying for the grant.

View on the State Library YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/Hkr0Q1yureU.

The deadline to apply for the ARPA Outreach Grant has passed. The following  is provided for information purposes only.

Due to the anticipated volume of submissions, DRAFT proposals will not be reviewed for this initiative.

If a proposal is successfully received, the applying library will see a pop-up notification upon hitting “Submit;” the Project Coordinator will receive a confirmation email containing a PDF of all online form responses as well as a list of submitted attachments.

Notification of funding will be provided after the convening of the State Library Board meeting on September 16, 2021.
Awarded grant projects will begin November 1, 2021 and must be completed by July 31, 2022.

View and download ARPA Outreach Grant RFP (PDF)


State Library of Ohio
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)

Request for Proposals
American Rescue Plan Act
Outreach Grant Projects
Proposals Due: August 1, 2021

Introduction

The State Library of Ohio is pleased to announce the availability of Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)  stimulus funds to support outreach and recovery initiatives across the state. The purpose of this grant program is to assist communities as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as address economic and community needs, resulting from the pandemic, through equitable approaches. This grant initiative is just one of the many ways the State Library of Ohio is supporting libraries of all types with ARPA stimulus funds and assisting Ohioans as they continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priorities and Funding

The LSTA grant process is a competitive one. Funded projects will be selected on the basis of:

  1. Reaching and serving library users and potential users with new pandemic response efforts or building upon pandemic response efforts previously established.
  2. Providing innovative and creative services to users and potential users, by reaching those users at a variety of locales, through a variety of methods.
  3. Providing rapid emergency relief to libraries across the country, allowing them to safely respond to the pandemic and implement public health protocols.
  4. Supporting library services that meet the needs of communities throughout the state, including costs such as technology, training, materials, supplies, and equipment.
  5. Enabling 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.

General Guidelines

Outreach and Education Proposals may request between $5,000 and $24,999 in federal funds, with no local match requirement. Proposals must demonstrate the need for a program or educational initiative to enhance the development of library staff and/or library users. Examples include, but are not limited to, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; literacy—digital, or otherwise; cultural competencies; connecting people to information/resources; etc. These proposals must illustrate an alignment with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and with Goal 1 of the LSTA Five Year Plan. Grants will be reviewed and proposed to the State Library Board at the September 2021 meeting.

Community Connections Proposals may request between $25,000 and $49,999 in federal funds, with no local match requirement. Proposals must demonstrate a willingness for libraries to meet users where they are in the communities they serve. Examples include, but are not limited to, story walks; curbside service accessories, such as awnings, signage, or stanchions; community material return bins; small satellite collections in other community locations, etc. These proposals must illustrate an alignment with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and with Goal 2 of the LSTA Five Year Plan. Grants will be reviewed and proposed to the State Library Board at the September 2021 meeting.

Outreach Initiatives Proposals may request between $50,000 and $100,000 in federal funds, with no local match requirement. Proposals must demonstrate a large-scale, well-coordinated, outreach endeavor on the part of the library. Examples include, but are not limited to: bookmobiles/vehicles/book bikes; 24/7 Library vending service; after-hours lockers for reserve items; etc. These proposals must illustrate an alignment with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and with Goal 3 and 4 of the LSTA Five Year Plan. Grants will be reviewed and proposed to the State Library Board at the September 2021 meeting.

PLEASE NOTE: If an eligible institution has an innovative project which would require a higher federal amount, or if a potential project is better-suited within a different category or would potentially cross multiple categories, the applicant is encouraged to contact the LSTA Coordinator (LSTA@library.ohio.gov) to discuss their idea and/or the possibility of a waiver to request additional federal support.

Proposal Format

Application proposals should provide a clear description of the project and related activities to be funded by ARPA. The description should address all proposal elements delineated in Section VII.

To qualify for review, proposals must conform to the following:

  • Include Project Summary, Abstract, Proposed Budget, and Program Description. Appendices may be included as appropriate.
  • An electronic signature may be added using your finger, stylus, or mouse when completing the online application form. Only one signature is required. This single electronic signature verifies the awareness and support of the applying library’s Fiscal Officer, Library Director/Administering Official/Principal and Library Board/Provost/Superintendent.
  • Use 12-point font and number all pages.
  • Be submitted digitally via this ARPA webpage under the Outreach Grant Application tab.

Failure to conform to the Proposal Format will result in disqualification.

Eligibility/Requirements

Public libraries must be eligible to receive Public Library Funds (PLF).

  • School libraries must be located in a school that is accredited by the state.
  • Academic libraries must be part of an accredited institution of higher learning.
  • Special libraries must be willing to share their resources.
  • Library Consortia are those limited to library networks, professional associations, and regional library systems identified in “Libraries in Ohio,” LSTA Five-Year Plan 2018-2022.

Partners

The State Library strongly encourages partnership projects. Having either formal or informal partners will strengthen the proposed project. An official partner is a library or non-library entity that will contribute specific deliverables to the project. A deliverable may be a cash amount or personnel, training space, transportation, supplies, materials, printing or other items to be used in implementing the grant. A Partnership Statement will assist applicants in developing partner relationships as well as clearly define roles and responsibilities. A project may also include informal partners. An informal partner is a library or non-library entity that will assist in planning and promoting/marketing the project but will not be contributing specific deliverables. An informal partner may provide a letter of support for the project. One component of innovative outreach may be working with other organizations, businesses, and social or public service outlets to form new or further develop exciting partnerships within the community to better reach and serve all residents.

Proposal Elements

The application proposal should consist of the following:

1. Project Summary: Complete a Project Summary using the required form. It should not exceed one page and should be single-spaced.

2. Abstract: 200 words or less. Consider framing the first sentence as, “We intend to do _________ (what) for ___________ (which audience) with this project.

3. Program Description/Narrative: The following key elements must be addressed in the grant narrative. The narrative should address all four components explained below. The program description section should be no longer than 5 single-spaced pages.

Community, Library Users & Need
The proposal must demonstrate an understanding of the target audience, including the demographics and barriers to library use. Who is the intended audience for this project? How was the need determined? How is the project related to the recovery from COVID-19? Does the project align with the applicant’s strategic plan? How will the project assist the applying library in meeting its mission and goals? How will this project assist the State Library in meeting the goals and activities of the LSTA Five Year Plan?

Project Overview
What problem does the institution want to solve or how will a problem/need be addressed? The problem/need must be connected with responding to COVID-19. This section should be clear, succinct and persuasive. Include measurable objectives and activities that will indicate progress toward addressing the stated need. What are the barriers to completing the project? Include how library staff will be trained or prepared to support the project, how the target audience will be made aware of the project? What is required for implementation? How will the project continue after the contract period?

Expected Outcomes
What are the anticipated project benefits? In what ways will the target audience be impacted? How will the implementation of this project help prevent the future spread of COVID-19? How will success be documented and measured? Describe the method that will be used to gather information and determine whether the library has achieved project goals. Quantitative measures include outputs or the countable products of the grant; for example, the number of workshops taught number of attendees, number of website views, etc. Qualitative measures, or outcomes, illustrate the project’s impact on the target audience. They describe changes in the target audiences’ skills, knowledge, behavior, attitude and/or status of life condition brought about, in part, as a result of the project. Gathering qualitative data may involve surveying, testing, or talking with users. In many cases, before and after data is important to measure the effectiveness of the project. Pre- and post-testing are encouraged for certain types of projects as indicators of increased knowledge or skills.

All projects that include instructional activities or programs for which evaluations are distributed are required to use IMLS LSTA questions. Standard questions must be used for each event and must be reported in a standardized format to the State Library in the final narrative report. Questions and format can be reviewed in Instructional Surveys.

Sustainability
Will the project continue and/or expand once the grant period has ended? If so, the proposal should include a plan for funding/supporting the project after the grant has concluded. A plan for seeking support from other funders to continue or expand project goals is important. Include the name of possible future funders and/or where you may seek additional funding.

Following the narrative, include a table or timeline of project activities with the expected completion dates and who will be responsible for ensuring the activity occurs. This information should be included as an Appendix.

4. Proposed Budget: Complete the Budget using the required ARPA Proposed Budget Form. Funds for library materials and/or equipment must be clearly aligned with the purpose of the project and must be essential for the project/service to be implemented. Funds requested must be for reasonable, necessary, and allowable costs to achieve the projects goals; the proposal must provide rationale to support how the proposed expenditures were determined and why each is needed to achieve the project goals. The Budget should include a breakdown of federal and local funds (if applicable). Include an Appendix, providing vendor information, items to be purchased, format, cost per item, and origin of costs (such as links to the vendor website or screenshots from vendor “cart”). Specific information on budget categories and requirements may be found in the General Guidelines and LSTA Grant Budget FAQ.

Allowable costs include but are not limited to:

    • Contractual services.
    • Equipment and/or technology necessary to support the success of the project.
    • Library materials that support the project’s focus.
    • Projectors, Smart-Boards, PA loop systems
    • Vehicles, vans, book bikes
    • Outdoor charging stations, Story-Walks, pop-up shelters/stages for programming
    • Secure Lockers
    • 24/7 Libraries
    • Material return drop boxes
    • Curbside library service stanchions/signage

** It is worth noting:  supply chain delays remain in place.  Please keep this in mind when acquiring quotes and factoring in shipping time(s) for certain items that are part of your project.

Non-allowable costs include:

    • Salary and fringe benefits for current staff
    • Ongoing operational costs
    • Entertainment costs (no food or beverages)
    • Fundraising, grant writing or advocacy
    • Construction or renovation costs
    • Promotional items and giveaways
      The federal government restricts the use of most promotion costs. Before placing these costs in your budget, please contact the LSTA Coordinator to determine if the cost is allowable.

***For additional information about non-allowable costs, contact the LSTA Coordinator via LSTA@library.ohio.gov.

5. Appendices: Include appendices such as vendor information, timeline, letters of support and LSTA Grant Partnership Statement(s).

General Information

LSTA grant recipients must complete all reporting requirements as outlined in the contract. Failure to complete these requirements may impact a library’s consideration for future LSTA awards.

“Institution” is defined by the administering official authorized to sign the project proposal and contract. The administering official is for schools, the superintendent; for public libraries, the president of the board of trustees; for academic libraries, the appropriate dean or provost; and for special libraries, the administrative officer.

Any purchases of devices, computers and software must meet minimum American with Disabilities Act (ADA)guidelines. Grant recipients requesting materials that provide Internet access must be Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) compliant. All recipients will be required to sign federal assurances encompassing the following areas: Drug Free Workplace, EEO, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as part of the IMLS Certification.

Proposals must be submitted digitally at https://library.ohio.gov/arpa/#OutreachGrantApplication by 11:59 p.m., August 1, 2021.

Due to the anticipated volume of submissions, DRAFT proposals will not be reviewed for this initiative.

Notification of funding will be provided after the convening of the State Library Board meeting on September 16, 2021.

Awarded grant projects will begin November 1, 2021 and must be completed by July 31, 2022.

Questions regarding the application proposal process should be addressed to:

Cindy Boyden
LSTA Coordinator
LSTA@library.ohio.gov

OR

Evan T. Struble
Associate State Librarian for Library Development
Estruble@library.ohio.gov

View and download ARPA Outreach Grant RFP (PDF)