Official State of Iowa Website

Announcing Grants of up to $5,000 for Public Libraries from American Rescue Plan Act

Jun 01, 2021

ARPA Library Grants News Item Graphic.pngThe State Library is pleased to announce grants of up to $5,000 to help Iowa public libraries respond to the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. The grants come from funding appropriated to the State Library from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Tier 1 and above libraries will be able to apply for the ARPA Grants beginning Monday, May 17, 2021. The non-competitive grants will come in the form of a reimbursement after libraries purchase allowable expenses to respond to library and community needs brought on by the pandemic.

The grant funds may be used for materials or technology to support digital inclusion efforts to enable libraries to reach residents, especially in support of education, health, and workforce development needs; and/or to respond to the pandemic and implement public health protocols. The State Library has prepared a list of allowable expenses, which are based on national priorities set by IMLS for the ARPA funding. Note that some items that access the internet may fall under CIPA requirements for filtering.


The grant process has a relatively quick turnaround time due to a requirement that all ARPA funding must be expended by the State Library by Sept. 30, 2022. This timeline will allow room for other potential projects or additional grants if ARPA funding remains following the initial round of grants.

  1. Grant Applications Available: May 17, 2021
  2. Grant Applications Due: July 2, 2021
  3. Signed Agreements Due: July 30, 2021
  4. Grant Amount Expended By: Jan. 31, 2022
  5. Reimbursement Requests Due: Apr. 29, 2022
  6. Final Report Due: Apr. 29, 2022

Action Steps for Libraries

Until the grant application is available on May 17, the State Library recommends that library directors:

  • Begin thinking about the library and community needs related to the pandemic and what could help to meet them.
  • Review the List of Allowable Expenses on the State Library website.
  • Read the ARPA Grant FAQ on the State Library website.
  • Consider attending upcoming office hours with your District Consultant to discuss the grants, ask questions, or get ideas on how your library could spend the grant funding.

If you have any questions or want to know if an item may be an allowable expense that is not included on the list, contact Nancy Medema.

More Information on ARPA Grants

The Institute of Museum and Library Services supports this program under the provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act as administered by the State Library of Iowa.