Picturing America Programming Grants for Public Libraries

Editor’s note: The deadline has been extended until April 26. Find out more.

The ALA Public Programs Office has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support humanities-based programs in public libraries that highlight the NEH’s Picturing America artwork collection. ALA and NEH will provide programming grants of $2,000 to 30 public libraries interested in hosting Picturing America programs for public audiences. We invite public libraries that have received a Picturing America collection from NEH to apply online, January 15–March 31, 2010.

ALA and NEH seek imaginative and substantive humanities program proposals that, if selected for funding, will also be considered for national dissemination as model programs via conference events, webinars, and resource Web sites.

Before beginning your application, be sure to browse a list of recommended program types and review our other proposal resources.


Eligibility is limited to public libraries that have received a Picturing America collection from NEH. For a list of public libraries that were selected to participate during the program’s pilot phase, 2008 national launch, or 2009 national extension, please review our list of participating public libraries.

Grant Requirements

  • The online application must be submitted by March 31, 2010.
  • The proposed program or program series must feature humanities content, and include use of the Picturing America collection.
  • Credit must be given to funders (NEH, IMLS and ALA) in any program and publicity materials that are developed.
  • Programs must take place during the grant term, July 1, 2010–January 31, 2011.
  • A final report must be submitted to ALA no later than March 1, 2011.
  • Libraries must grant ALA permission to reproduce information provided within the final report on the Picturing America for Public Libraries Web site.

Review Criteria

Applications will be peer reviewed and evaluated based on the following criteria. Final award decisions will be made by NEH.

  • Potential of proposed program (or series) to deepen public knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of American art and history.
  • Strength of the proposed program’s humanities content and extent to which the Picturing America collection is integrated into program content.
  • Clarity and completeness of program plans, including detailed calendar of scheduled events and promotional strategies.
  • Appropriateness of speakers and presenters to proposed program plans; overall excellence of speakers and presenters.
  • Evidence, appropriateness and reach of community partnerships.
  • Description of desired impact on the library and community.
  • Replicability of the program; potential for modeling by other public libraries participating in Picturing America.
  • Evaluative plan for program, including assessment of program goals.