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Institute for Museum & Library Services: Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries

Deadline: February 1, 2016

The Sparks! Ignition Grants for Museums program is a special funding opportunity within the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Grants for Museums program. These small grants encourage museums to prototype and evaluate specific innovations in the ways they operate and the services they provide. Project results should offer valuable information to the museum field and the potential for improvement in the ways museums serve their communities.

To maximize the public benefit from federal investments in these grants, the Sparks! program will fund only projects with the following characteristics:

  • Broad Potential Impact: Proposals should identify a specific problem or need that is relevant to many libraries and/or archives and propose a testable and measurable solution. Proposals must demonstrate a thorough understanding of current issues and practices in the project’s focus area and discuss its potential impact within libraries and/or archives. Proposed innovations should be widely adoptable or adaptable.
  • Significant Innovation: The proposed solution to the identified problem must offer strong potential for non-incremental, significant advancement in the operation of libraries and/or archives. Proposals must explain how the proposed activity differs from current practices or takes advantage of an unexplored opportunity, and the potential benefit to be gained by this innovation.

Amount: Grants range from $10,000 to $25,000 and have a period of up to one year. Approximately 10 grants will be awarded.

Eligibility: Museums that fulfill the general criteria for museums may apply (see http://www.imls.gov/applicants/museums.aspx). Public or private nonprofit agencies, organizations, or associations that engage in activities designed to advance museums and the museum profession may also apply. In addition, institutions of higher education, including public and non-profit universities, are eligible.

Link: http://www.imls.gov/grants/available/sparks-ignition-grants-museums

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