IMLS ARPA Grants to Public Libraries for Collections and Equipment Purchases

The Vermont Department of Libraries (VTLIB) will issue a second round of the IMLS ARPA Grants to public libraries for specific purchases. We will make over $300,000 in total grant funding available to public libraries for one-time purchases (pending VTLIB and IMLS approval*).


We strongly encourage that you to use this round of funding for one-time (non-subscription) purchases for creating or enhancing collections that focus on

  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

  • ADA accessible items

  • New American collections (e.g. Welcoming Library)

  • Multilingual collections

  • Formal diversity audits from a reputable company with prior VTLIB approval

You do not need to provide individual book titles in your grant application.

Refer to the VTLIB EDI Collection Development Resource List for ideas on where to start.

Other allowable items include:
  • Outdoor programming/placemaking items, such as canopies and tents, white boards, dividers, sound systems, etc. Outdoor furniture is allowable if it is used to advance or keep operational library services like summer programming or improve access to library wi-fi. 

  • Indoor furniture for COVID response, such as dividers, furniture that is not upholstered, mobile charging stations, smaller tables for separation, sneeze guards, lockers, etc., or furniture with embedded digital/electrical components, or tables, chairs, shelves with built-in chargers or outlets. Furniture must be wipeable and cannot be upholstered.

  • Standalone HVAC augmentation, e.g., HEPA air filters, purifiers, etc. that don’t require construction.

  • Robotics for kids’ programming (Ozobots, Sphero, Osmo, SnapCircuits, Raspberry Pi).

  • Makerspace equipment and content.

  • Video production equipment, such as green screens, cameras, video and audio equipment, tripods, portable recording studios, etc.

  • Technology products, such as computers, electronic office equipment such as printers, scanners, 3D printers, document cameras, self-checkout systems, single-purchase software, Owl cameras and other webinar technology, one-time tech setup costs.

  • Accessibility devices and tools such as hearing support, magnifiers, etc. (no construction allowed).

  • Dedicated space for social worker/employment specialist/telemedicine etc. (could purchase cubical type of walls, desks, chairs, computers--no construction of permanent walls). Library is responsible for personnel costs.

  • Library purchases of PPE (VTLIB will not make bulk purchases of PPE).

  • One-time tech setup services

You may want to consider the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC) purchasing program for your purchases.

You may also want to use the state’s established list of statewide contracts. While you don’t have access to state-negotiated pricing, these suppliers have been vetted by the Vermont Office of Purchasing and Contracts (OPC) These suppliers are often willing to work with other entities of the state and offer competitive pricing.

Construction and subscription costs are not allowed. Your library is responsible for maintaining any subscription fees and add on components that result from your purchases.

This VTLIB grant is for collections, equipment/supply purchases only and will not pay for personnel except for hiring a one-time contractor for tech setup or a diversity audit.

*Per 2 CFR § 200.439 - Equipment and other capital expenditures, all equipment purchases of $5,000/unit or more must be approved by IMLS via VTLIB ahead of time.

Allocation to Public Libraries

Review chart of funding by library here - Google Sheets | Excel

Funds were allocated based on a formula that includes a base dollar amount per person served, poverty and unemployment factors in the library’s service area, and broadband availability. The base allocation starts at $500 for every library.

Note that VTLIB will not make bulk purchases for libraries.

VTLIB, State, IMLS and Federal Compliance Requirements

Note that for a public library to receive these funds, the library must

  • have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number (this number replaced the DUNS number); if you are a municipal library, you will use your town’s UEI. You may review these training materials: a PowerPoint presentation for UEI and an audio recording.

  • submit an application and your budget by the deadline;

  • sign a grant agreement with VTLIB;

  • acknowledge funding from VTLIB and IMLS in any communications about your award, per these attribution guidelines; and

  • provide required final report (including receipts) detailing how the funds were spent.

Attending the grant webinar or reviewing the webinar recording is highly recommended.


Recording of the April 15, 2022 webinar
57 min.

Webinar slides (PDF)

Press Release and Attribution

We recommend that you send a press release to your local media outlets to share the news of your grant once you have a signed grant agreement. You may use this press release template (Word). Also, please promote this through your social channels and tag VTLIB (attribution guidelines).

Whenever possible, follow the guidance in §200.321 Contracting with small and minority businesses, women's business enterprises, and labor surplus area firms and §200.322   Domestic preferences for procurements.

Additional IMLS 2021 Guidance for grantees and subrecipients.

Libraries and their municipalities (where applicable) must also be in good standing with subrecipient state and federal annual reporting and all state single audit requests. Grantee should also be found to be in a low or moderate risk assessment (page 13) and be in compliance with all previous grant requirements.


Link to application:
Please remember that you can't save a draft of this form. You must submit the form in one session.


Barring any issues beyond our control the timeline for this grant is now:

  • Grant period: June 1 – September 30, 2022
  • Application deadline: May 18, 2022 (extended from May 11, 2022)
  • Grant agreements issued: June 1, 2022
  • Grant agreement signed by libraries: no later than June 6, 2022
  • Payment issued: no later than June 30, 2022
  • Deadline extended to October 17, 2022: Funds must be spent, and report submitted

Note that you may not make your purchases until the grant agreement has been fully executed (signed by you and the State Librarian). Any purchases made prior to the date of execution are excluded from eligibility.

We highly recommend that you start making your plans on what you will be purchasing as soon as possible, so you can be ready to submit the application and budget when they're due. Use this worksheet to gather all needed information:
Worksheet (Word)
Worksheet (PDF)

Need ideas on what to purchase?

We have created a listserv dedicated to discussions about ARPA and other grants. Feel free to sign up and swap ideas there. VTLIB is not regularly monitoring this listserv. If you have specific questions for us that haven't been answered here, submit them through the form.


The reporting form for this grant is available here:

  • You may submit this form at any time. However, you must spend the funds and submit this report no later than October 17, 2022 (new deadline).
  • Due to our own reporting deadlines, we will be unable to offer additional reporting extensions.
  • You must spend all the funds down to the penny. Please do not carry a balance even if it’s small.


Please review this page again and consult our Frequently Asked Question page before contacting us. If the Q&A doesn't answer your question, email  Please don't email VTLIB staff directly.