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Apply for Funds from the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries

The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries provides funds to our Nation’s neediest schools so that they can extend, update, and diversify the book and print collections in their libraries with the goal of encouraging students to develop a love of reading and learning.

Begin or continue an Application

Please provide as much information as possible. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about this application. Please contact us at [email protected]

Key Dates

  • Application due by 11:59 p.m. CST on Friday, December 31st
  • You will be notified as to whether or not your school library will be awarded a grant in mid-late March 2022
  • If your school library is awarded a grant, all paperwork (3 forms) must be completed by Friday, May 6th
  • If your school library is awarded a grant, all funds must be spent by December 31, 2022.

Eligibility Requirement

  • Public school applicants must be Title 1 eligible. Neighborhood schools, charter schools, magnet schools, etc. are all welcome to apply, if Title 1 eligible.
  • Private and parochial schools are also welcome to apply if at least 50% of their student population qualify for financial aid.
  • Principal must digitally sign principal agreement in application

Frequently Asked Questions

  • May more than one school in a district apply?

Yes. Library grants are awarded to individual schools and not to districts.

  • May a school apply if it does not have a certified librarian?

Yes. The person responsible for the library does not necessarily have to be a certified librarian, but the person must be an employee of the school and/or district.

  • Must the application be written by a school employee?

No, anyone may write an application (i.e. a certified librarian, administrator, teacher, grant writer, paraprofessional, parent, or volunteer).

  • What is a “book” for purposes of this application?

A “book” is a printed volume, a Braille volume, an audio-book, or an e-book that will be added to either the circulating or reference section of the school library collection.  Magazine/serial copies or subscriptions and e-magazine subscriptions may be purchased with grant funds.  Not eligible to be purchased with library grant funds: videos or DVDs, any student/teacher guide to the book (in print or other media), a test/quiz/workbook, any software related to the book, or electronic book readers.

  • May funds be used to purchase shelving, furniture, equipment, staffing, software, videos, guides, tests or exams, or other library media center items?

No. Funds from the Laura Bush Foundation may be used only to purchase print or Braille volumes, audio-books, e-books, or magazine/serial/e-magazine subscriptions.

  • How does an individual school obtain Free/Reduced Lunch (FRL) information?

This information should be readily available from the principal or school district.  If not, consult the following website: http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/

  • Is a Laura Bush Foundation Grant considered a federal grant?

No. The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries is a restricted fund of the George W. Bush Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. It is supported by charitable contributions.

  • The county library serves as the school library. Is the school eligible to apply?

Yes. However, it must be clearly documented that the county library is the sole library for the school and how access to the materials by the students is facilitated.

  • May a library submit more than one application if it serves more than one constituency? For example, if the library serves both a middle school and a high school?

No. Each school library, regardless of the variety of constituents it serves, is limited to one application per year.

  • May Accelerated Reader tests, other AR materials, or similar materials for other reading support programs be purchased with grant funds?

No. All grant dollars are to be spent for books, e-books or magazines/serials/e-magazines in print, Braille or audio form. Grant funds are not to be used for the purchase of quizzes, tests, study guides, teacher guides, commentaries on a book, e-book readers, or any kind of hardware/software. 

  • May the funds be used to purchase DVD movie versions of books? (i.e. Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Rings, Frankenstein, Lonesome Dove, The Wizard of Oz, etc?)

No, funds from the Laura Bush Foundation may be used only to purchase print or Braille volumes, audio-books, e-books, magazines/serials/e-magazines.

  • May the principal’s approval/certification be included after the application is submitted?

No, approval from the principal must be included in the grant application at the time of submission.  

  • Can a draft/pending application be saved and submitted at a later date?

Yes, you have the option to save your pending application once an account is created.  Only complete applications will be considered.