Upcoming Capital Project Grant Funding Opportunities
The Vermont Department of Libraries is pleased to announce the following two upcoming federal capital project grant opportunities for public libraries in Vermont:
- $16.4M U.S. Treasury Capital Projects Fund for Libraries
The American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) Capital Projects Funds provides $10 billion for payments to eligible governments to carry out critical capital projects in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The State’s proposal to grant $16.4 million in Capital Project funds toward capital improvements to Vermont’s public libraries has been approved. This program will be administered by the Vermont Department of Libraries.
Goal: To address critical building improvements to ensure Vermonters have continued access to high-speed Internet to directly enable work, education, and health monitoring at their local public libraries.
Current Status: The Department plans to launch a grant application for these funds after the competitive grant application and rubric are approved by Treasury. We anticipate the application will launch in December 2023/January 2024.
Timeline: All ARPA Capital Projects Funds must be expended by December 31, 2026, which is the end of the period of performance.
- $10M Public Facilities Preservation Initiative Grants
The Vermont Department of Libraries' $10M for Public Facilities Preservation Initiative Grants to be available for the state’s small, rural public libraries is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through their FY2023 Economic Initiative Community Project Funding program. This funding was made possible by the support of Senator Leahy, who included the Department’s proposal in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023. This program will be administered by the Vermont Department of Libraries.
The competitive grant application for these funds will be open to all rural and small public libraries in Vermont with the exception of public libraries that received specific, individual earmarks for support through the Congressionally Directed Spending process.
Goal: To provide resources to address repair and mitigation needs in small, rural public libraries that also serve as community meeting spaces and public facilities, with a focus on economically depressed areas.
Current Status: The Department has received the grant award letter and preliminary guidance documents from HUD. The Department plans to launch a grant application for these funds in 2024.
Timeline: HUD has established August 31, 2031, as the end date of the period of performance and budget period for all FY2023 CPF grants.
Timing and process of grant opportunities
The Department of Libraries will launch two competitive grant processes through which Vermont communities can access federal funding to support capital improvements to their local public library.
Our goal is to support Vermont communities in successfully accessing both the U.S. Treasury Capital Projects Fund for Libraries and Public Facilities Preservation Initiative Grants funds for which their public library is eligible.
The Department recommends that every public library apply for all grant funding for which it is eligible. That said, these will be competitive grants. The available funding will enable some public libraries to complete capital projects. However, the funding does not fully meet the significant need for capital projects funding in all of Vermont’s 188 public libraries. The Department anticipates making awards to at least one public library in each of Vermont’s 14 counties.
Earlier in 2023, the Department communicated a plan to have one application process for both grant opportunities. However, due to the compressed timeline of the U.S. Treasury ARPA funds and the complexity of the HUD funding regulations, the Department has decided that there will be two separate competitive grant applications. The Department will make every effort to align the two applications as much as possible to simplify the application process for public libraries.
If your capital project fits within the parameters of both the U.S. Treasury Capital Projects Fund for Libraries and Public Facilities Preservation Initiative Grants, then the Department recommends that you apply for both grant opportunities.
If you haven’t already, you should start working on advancing your capital project. The further along your library is with planning and raising funds for your capital project by the time the applications open, the better.
Prepare to apply for these transformative grants by reviewing the capital project-related resources the Department has assembled:
Please direct any questions to LIB.VTLIBCapitalGrants@vermont.gov
Communications about the Capital Projects Grants will be shared with Vermont’s public library community via our three main listservs: lib.staff, lib.trustee, and VTLibraries.
The Department of Libraries has also created a new listserv dedicated to capital projects updates: firstname.lastname@example.org
To join this listserv, please complete this form.
Capital Projects Needs Assessment
The Department of Libraries conducted a Capital Projects Needs Assessment from Tuesday, February 28 through April 15, 2023. The period for submitting responses has ended.
The Needs Assessment met its three goals of providing information to:
- Inform Department staff in the development of the two federal capital grants programs that the Department will administer.
- Inform Department staff about future capital funding and resource needs of public libraries.
- Inform the Working Group on the Status of Libraries in Vermont, which was tasked with studying library facilities. The Working Group’s report can be found here:
Needs Assessment Webinar
- Tuesday, February 28, 2023 from 2-3:30pm
- Webinar recording (YouTube)
- Webinar PowerPoint (PDF updated 3/3/23)
Vermont Library Conference Presentation April 4, 2023
- Presentation PowerPoint (PDF)