Thank you for your interest in The Libri Foundation and its BOOKS FOR CHILDREN program.
The Libri Foundation is a nationwide non-profit organization which donates new, quality, hardcover children's books to small, rural public libraries throughout the United States. Since October 1990, the Foundation has donated over $6.2 million worth of new children’s books to more than 3,300 libraries in all 50 states.
The Foundation works with the library's Friends of the Library or other local groups because we believe in community involvement and want to encourage and reward local support of libraries. The Foundation will match any amount of money raised by your local sponsors from $200 to $350 on a 2-to-1 ratio. Thus, your library could receive up to $1,050 worth of new children's books (about 65 books). Local sponsors have five months (or longer, if necessary) after their library has been selected as a participant in the BOOKS FOR CHILDREN program to raise the matching funds.
Only libraries within the 50 states are eligible to apply. Grants are not offered to libraries outside of the United States. If your library is not located in one of the 50 states, do not apply for a grant.
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. It is therefore imperative that Question B in Section III be answered correctly. **Incorrectly answering this question may accidentally disqualify your library.**
Applications are accepted from independent libraries as well as libraries which are part of a county, regional, or cooperative library system. A school library may apply only if it also serves as the public library (i.e. it is open to everyone in the community, has some summer hours, and there is no public library in town).
A branch library may apply if the community it is in meets the definition of rural. If the branch library receives its funding from its parent institution, then the parent institution’s total operating budget, not just the branch library’s total operating budget, must meet the budget guidelines. Please note: Town libraries with total operating budgets over $150,000 and county libraries with total operating budgets over $450,000 are rarely given grants.
BOOKS FOR CHILDREN grant recipients that have fulfilled all grant requirements, including the final report, may apply for another grant three years after the receipt of their previous grant. Grant recipients that do not fulfill all the grant requirements, including the final report, are not eligible for another grant.
If you don't know if your library has received a BOOKS FOR CHILDREN grant in the past, please check the list of previous grant recipients on this website.
Deadlines for 2015 are: (postmarked by) January 23rd and May 1st. Applicants are encouraged to return their completed application forms as soon as possible.
Your completed, STAPLED, and signed application form MUST be mailed to the Foundation. DO NOT email or fax your application. Return your application form with all the pages stapled together. Do NOT waste money sending your application by Express Mail, Certified Mail, etc.
Grants are awarded January 31st and May 15th. Qualifying libraries that do not receive a grant during one grant cycle will be reconsidered for a grant during the next grant cycle.
Grant recipients are listed on the website within a few days of the award date. Acceptance packets are usually mailed within 14-18 days of the grant award date. Please check the Grant Recipients page on the website for updates.
The librarian of each library participating in the BOOKS FOR CHILDREN program selects the books her library will receive from a booklist provided by the Foundation. The 600 fiction and nonfiction titles on the booklist reflect the very best of children's literature published in the last three years. These titles have been judged as outstanding or highly recommended by recognized authorities in the library and education fields. The booklist also includes a selection of classic children’s titles.
For ease of use, the booklist is divided into two groups, based on recommended age and grade levels. Group 1 books are for young listeners and beginning readers (birth to age 7, preschool to grade 2). Group 2 books are for middle and intermediate readers (ages 8 to 12, grades 3 to 6). Please note: The booklist is for the sole use of participants in the Foundation's BOOKS FOR CHILDREN program.
The Foundation provides bookplates for all books received through the BOOKS FOR CHILDREN program. The bookplates state the books are a donation of the Friends of the Library, or other local sponsors, and The Libri Foundation. The Friends or local sponsors are listed first on the bookplate. If all of the library's matching funds were received "in honor of" or "in memory of" an individual, then the bookplates can be inscribed to honor that person.
If you have any questions about The Libri Foundation, its BOOKS FOR CHILDREN program, or the grant application, please don't hesitate to contact me. Normal office hours are: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Pacific Time.
Please follow any additional instructions in the online application form.