Grants to States

To promote improvement in library services in all types of libraries to better serve the people of the United States.

To facilitate access to resources in all types of libraries for the purpose of cultivating an educated and informed citizenry.

And to encourage resource sharing among all
types of libraries for the purpose of achieving economical and efficient delivery of library services to the public.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

The Grants to States program funded library programs and services that promote access to learning and information resources in all types of libraries for individuals of all ages.

Agency - Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of Federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute serves as a leader in providing services to enhance learning, sustain cultural heritage and increase civic participation.

Website Address

Program Accomplishments

For fiscal year 2008, the Grants to States program made 59 awards totaling $160,885,357.

Uses and Use Restrictions

To make grants to state library administrative agencies which shall expend funds, either directly or through subgrants, for: (1) expanding services for learning and access to information and educational resources in a variety of formats, in all types of libraries, for individuals of all ages; (2) developing library services that provide all users access to information through local, state, regional, national, and international electronic networks; (3) providing electronic and other linkages between and among all types of libraries; (4) developing public and private partnerships with other agencies and community-based organizations; (5) targeting library services to help increase access and ability to use information resources for persons of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds; persons with disabilities; and persons with limited functional literacy or information skills; and (6) targeting library and information services to help increase access and ability to use information resources for persons who have difficulty using a library and for underserved urban and rural communities, including children from birth through age 17 from families with incomes below the poverty line.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State library administrative agencies (from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S.

Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau) that have authority to administer federal funds and have financial resources sufficient to match the federal funding requirement may apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Users of libraries and information services will benefit.


A state five-year plan is the program application.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult IMLS or the official designated as the single point of contact in the state for more information on the process the state requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the state has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

To qualify for grants, states must submit a five-year plan as defined in Section 205 of the Act, for approval by the director of IMLS. The plan is submitted directly to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Office of Library Services, Grants to States Program, 1800 M Street, NW, Ninth Floor, Washington, DC 20036-5802.

Award Procedures

Grants are awarded to state library administrative agencies.


Contact the program contact listed in the Headquarters section below.


Museum and Library Services Act, codified at 20 U.S.C. Section 9101 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

A time has not been specified.


If IMLS determines that the state plan does not meet the requirements of the Museum and Library Services Act of 2003, the director shall notify the state. During this process, the state has the opportunity for a hearing.


A new State plan is required every five years; the next one is due June 30, 2012.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

The amount a State receives under this program consists of a minimum allotment set by Congress (20 USCS 9131(b)) plus an additional amount based on the most current published population estimates available the first day of the federal fiscal year from the Bureau of the Census. The federal share is 66 percent and the state matching requirement is 34 percent.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

All funds are awarded to each state on approval of its five-year plan. Funds must be expended by the end of the federal fiscal year following the year of allotment as noted in grant award documentation.

Post Assistance Requirements


IMLS requires annual financial and narrative reports from each state library administrative agency.

Each state library administrative agency must independently evaluate and report to IMLS regarding the activities assisted during this program before the end of the state five-year plan.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in federal awards are exempt from federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


In 45 CFR 1183.42 (a) and (b), federal regulations state that records must be kept for three years after the grantee (i.e., the state library administrative agency) submits the last expenditure report for that period. (For the Grants to States program, "period" means the five-year period covered by a five-year plan.)

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $163,746,000; FY 08 $160,885,357; FY 09 est $171,500,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The formula determining the assistance is based on population.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

See the IMLS website at for the latest program data.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Office of Library Services, Grants to States Program, 1800 M Street, N.W., Ninth Floor, Washington, DC 20036-5802. Telephone: (202) 653-4678.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.

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