To achieve the American Rescue Plan Act’s purposes with respect to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Grants to States, this funding is to be used by the states by September 30, 2022, in helping communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic, as well as to related economic and community needs through equitable approaches. IMLS sees the outcomes of the ARPA funding as the logical extension of the rapid and intentional rollout of the CARES Act of 2020 as well as Governor Lamont's Everybody Learns Initiative which helped address digital inequities. IMLS has established the high priority spending categories as follows:
a. First, to enable libraries to reach residents with internet hotspots, accessible Wi-Fi, and other digital inclusion efforts, particularly in support of education, health, and workforce development needs. The following types of data, among others, can inform efforts to reach underserved populations:
b. Second, to provide rapid emergency relief to libraries across the country, allowing them to safely respond to the pandemic and implement public health protocols.
c. Third, to support library services that meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S., including costs such as technology, training, materials, supplies, equipment, and associated indirect costs.
*The Connecticut State Library is subject to the IMLS Grants to States program rules and regulations in the administration of the ARPA funds. This includes Cost Principles described in the Code of Federal Regulations.
Grants will be distributed though the Connecticut State Library following the provisions for State Grants described in Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, Sec. 11-24b-3.
Complete the grant application, providing estimates of grant spending in each category and a description of what you intend to purchase. Applications must have a handwritten, not typed, signature.
Applications should be emailed in pdf format by close of business June 30th, 2021 to your designated contact, either Maria Bernier (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the Western part of the state or Dawn La Valle (email@example.com) for the Eastern part of the state.
More Qs and As will be added regularly! Last updated June 8, 2021.
1. How do I set up an ACH account to get my grant money transferred quickly to my bank account?
Visit the State Comptroller's page to set up a Direct Deposit (ACH) account, using the Enrollment Form either for Companies (association libraries) or Towns (municipal libraries). Follow the instructions on the form for submission. Grant payments will be issued only through direct deposit, not through checks.
2. Do I actually have to spend all the money by the deadline on March 31, 2022, or I can I just encumber it for future expenses?
The grant funds must be spent. The state fiscal department will not accept encumbrances of the funds.
3. Do I need to get bids or quotes for expenses?
For purchases of less than $10,000 total, you do not need to compare quotes. For purchases of $10,000 or more, you must compare at least three quotes from qualified sources. (Federal rule, 2 CFR §200.320) You do not need to go through a formal RFP process.
4. How did you arrive at these grant amounts?
Principal public libraries that had received grants through Governor Lamont's Everybody Learns initiative received a lump sum of $3,000 each. For the remaining principal public libraries, we used the formula for State Aid grants as set forth in state statute (CGS 11-24b), but with a base amount of $15,000 per library instead of $1,200.
5. Can I use this grant to pay for past purchases?
No, it can be used only for future purchase. You can't use it to reimburse the library or municipality.
6. Do you have a sample press release I can adapt for my library?
The sample press release is available in the Documents & Forms box to left.
7. What are the deadlines again?
8. Will the grant pay for shipping & handling? Installation? Sales tax?
Yes to shipping & handling. No to installation of fixed equipment and sales tax.
9. What will I need to submit with the final report?
A form indicating how you spent the money and the impact of the improvements on your community as well as proof of expenditures in the form of invoices, receipts, photocopies of checks, payment confirmations, etc.
10. Why are you asking about things that cost $5,000 or more?
Under Federal regulations (2 CFR §200.439), any single item that costs over $5,000 needs prior approval from IMLS. We'll ask you for information on what the item is, who it is for, for what purpose (as related to at least one of the three high priority spending categories established by IMLS for ARPA funding), cost, and what goal it contributes to in CSL's LSTA five-year plan. Also attach a copy of the quote in Word (not pdf) and a product brochure or website about the item.
11. If I use my grant funds to pay for internet service or hotspots and laptops to loan out, does that mean my whole library has to be CIPA compliant?
Yes. CIPA compliance is required when using federal funds to pay internet fees or to purchase any device that provides access to the internet, including laptops, tablets, and hotspots Also see this helpful guidance from ALA on how CIPA applies to these purchases.
Added April 22:
12. OK, what does CIPA compliance include?
Check out this page from DLD on CIPA.
13. How do I filter hotspots?
Check with your hotspot vendor. They should be familiar with this concept.
14. How much grant money can I get?
The amounts have already been calculated for each library using the formula for State Aid grants. Check the List of Recipients and Grant Amounts to see the award for your library. Then send us a grant application with a plan for how you will spend ALL of that money.
15. How and when do I actually get the money?
First, make sure you have a direct deposit account set up with the state (see #1 above). Once your grant application has been approved, we will ask the state finance office (Department of Administrative Services) to release your grant funds to that bank account. Depending on when you submit your application, you should have the funds by early August at the latest.
16. How does the grant application approval process work?
After you submit your grant application to either Dawn or Maria, we'll review it to confirm that your expenses are eligible and are addressing the high priority spending categories defined by IMLS. If so, we should be able to approve your application within a day or two and notify you by email. If not, we'll get back in touch with you to ask for a revised spending plan. If you want this grant money for your library, it's yours, but you do need to meet all the Federal and state requirements in order for the funds to be released to your library, and you must continue to adhere to those requirements throughout the project. The State Library Board does not need to approve these grant awards.
17. Does my board need to approve this grant application?
18. Is there a match requirement?
No, you do not need to spend any matching funds for this grant.
19. What if we want to spend more than the grant award?
Go ahead! This is a great opportunity to combine grant funds with library, municipal, or private funds to purchase something even bigger and better. But be aware that your total grant award will not increase no matter how much you spend.
20. What were some of the things that libraries bought with their Everybody Learns grants?
Detailed information about the Everybody Learns grants is available in the Final Project Report to Governor Lamont.
Added April 23:
21. We're a municipal library. Can I use my town's DUNS number, or do I need to set up a unique number especially for my library?
Municipal libraries may use their town's or city's DUNS number if they don't already have one of their own.
22. How do I find out if we already have a DUNS number or register for a new one?
See the DUNS number box in the left column on this page.
23. I want to buy something that costs more than the $10,000 threshold, but it's available from one source only. How do I satisfy the requirement for three quotes?
If you can document that the item is available only from a single source, you can purchase that item without having to get additional quotes.
Added April 27:
24. What do I do if I have money left over? How do I give it back to you?
Just SPEND IT. All of it. Down to $0.00. Don't give anything back.
25. Can we apply for less than the amount allocated to us?
Well, sure, but wouldn't you rather spend all of it? Get suggestions from staff, board members, and library Friends, who might come up with ideas you haven't thought of. Or attend the biweekly drop-in sessions to get ideas from other libraries.
Added April 28:
26. If our library decides to go through the steps to be CIPA compliant, what's the timeframe?
Your library must be fully CIPA compliant prior to activating or using the new internet accessible devices that you purchased with ARPA grant funds. For example, if you're buying hotspots or laptops with ARPA funds, the library must be CIPA compliant before anyone can use them.
27. Do we need to prove that our library is CIPA compliant?
Both the grant application and final report form will include a statement to this effect: "If the applicant intends to use any ARPA funds to purchase computers or peripherals used to access the Internet or to pay for direct costs associated with accessing the Internet, the applicant must comply with the requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Signature below certifies that they are in compliance with CIPA or are not using ARPA funds for such purposes." The director's signature on the form is sufficient for the purposes of this project. However, you should retain all your documentation about CIPA compliance permanently in your files.
28. We already lend out hotspots. Can we use the grant funds to prepay the monthly subscription costs through Sept. 2022?
Yes. But your library must be CIPA compliant, including filtering all library-owned public access and staff computers with Internet access.
29. After I put together my projected budget for the grant application, I have a little bit of money left over. Can I just put that in the indirect costs line?
No, you need to allocate either 0%, 10%, or a specific negotiated rate for indirect costs. It can't be any other percentage.
30. I'm at a library system with more than one location/building. Can I use these funds to buy things for my branches?
Yes! Spend your money where it will have the most impact according to the spending priorities.
Added May 4:
31. Can I send you my grant application by fax or mail?
We can accept these applications only by email in pdf format.
Added May 7:
32. Is it OK if we work with partner organizations?
Yes! Leveraging your existing partner network and finding new partners is a great idea. The things you purchase with ARPA funds can be loaned out by or housed at partner locations. For example, a community center can loan out laptops you provide them, or you could put a WiFi-enabled charging station at the senior center.
Added May 18:
33. Do you have a sample grant narrative of a digital inclusion project that we could look at?
Yes! Check out this example from the Henry Carter Hull Library in Clinton about their outdoor annex in support of workforce development and community resilience. Take a look at the other Sample Approved Applications as well.
34. When do I need to gather the quotes?
You need to get at least three bids for purchases of $10,000 or more prior to submitting your grant application to Dawn or Maria.
Added May 19:
35. What does the first IMLS high priority spending category mean by "digital inclusion"?
From the National Digital Inclusion Alliance: Digital inclusion "refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies. This includes 5 elements: 1) affordable, robust broadband internet service; 2) internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user; 3) access to digital literacy training; 4) quality technical support; and 5) applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation and collaboration. Digital Inclusion requires intentional strategies and investments to reduce and eliminate historical, institutional and structural barriers to access and use technology."
36. You mentioned IMLS funds can't be spent on "construction." What does that mean?
IMLS has these criteria for whether something qualifies as construction or not:
Added May 20:
37. Do you have any sample grant applications I could look at?
We do! Many thanks to the libraries who were willing to share these samples of approved applications.
Added May 21:
38. What if we can't find an American manufacturer for the things we want to get?
If you can document that you've done your due diligence with no success in finding an American product, then you can purchase an item produced overseas.
Added June 2:
39. What if prices change from our original proposed budget or an item is no longer available?
If the thing you had planned to purchase is no longer available, then we'd expect you to purchase something else similar that does the same thing. If prices go up, then you'll either need to absorb the extra cost from your library budget, or not purchase something you had planned to purchase. If you have money left over unexpectedly, get in touch with your grant contact (Dawn or Maria) and let us know how you'd like to spend it. We'll let you know if it's eligible. We do expect grantees to adhere to their original spending plan, contacting us if something changes.
Added June 8:
40. Can I use my ARPA funds to purchase a three-year license or lease?
Any services paid for with ARPA grant funds have to end by Sept. 30, 2022, or have the portion of service beyond that period paid for by other funds.
If your question isn't answered here, please ASK US.
All expenses should support the Purpose described above. Items in red font below are Federal requirements.
As appropriate and to the extent consistent with law, the grantee should, to the greatest extent practicable under a Federal award, provide a preference for the purchase, acquisition, or use of goods, products, or materials produced in the United States.
Libraries may spend their grant funds in the following categories; however, purchases must directly support the IMLS High Priority Spending Categories, ordering in bulk or pre-paying as needed:
Ineligible expenses: staff; capital improvements or construction (involving construction trades or contract labor); installation costs for fixed equipment such as toilets and HVAC equipment; delivery service between libraries; consortium fees; circulating library materials (both physical and electronic); database subscriptions; streaming services such as Kanopy, Hoopla etc; websites; town-wide mailings; reimbursements for previous expenses; sales tax; equipment to support outdoor programs.
You can use the vendors of your choice. The information provided below is not an endorsement or recommendation of these companies or services; these are merely places to start your search.
For purchases with an aggregate dollar amount above $10,000, you must get price or rate quotations from at least three sources.
Recommendations from fellow librarians:
Get on the phone to vendors to negotiate prices.
The Western half of the state will work with Maria Bernier, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Eastern half of the state will work with Dawn La Valle, email@example.com. You can also scroll over each town in the grant map below to see the contact name listed.
|Town - Library Name||DLD Liaison|
|Andover - Andover Public Library||Dawn|
|Ansonia - Ansonia Library||Maria|
|Ashford - Babcock Library||Dawn|
|Avon - Avon Free Public Library||Maria|
|Beacon Falls - Beacon Falls Public Library||Maria|
|Berlin - Berlin-Peck Memorial Library||Maria|
|Bethany - Clark Memorial Library||Maria|
|Bethel - Bethel Public Library||Maria|
|Bethlehem - Bethlehem Public Library||Maria|
|Bloomfield - Bloomfield Public Library||Maria|
|Bolton - Bentley Memorial Library||Dawn|
|Branford - James Blackstone Memorial Library||Maria|
|Bridgeport - Bridgeport Public Library||Maria|
|Bridgewater - Burnham Library||Maria|
|Bristol - Bristol Public Library||Maria|
|Brookfield - Brookfield Library||Maria|
|Brooklyn - Brooklyn Town Library Association||Dawn|
|Burlington - Burlington Public LIbrary||Maria|
|Canaan - David M. Hunt Library||Maria|
|Canterbury - Canterbury Public Library||Dawn|
|Canton - Canton Public Library||Maria|
|Chaplin - Chaplin Public Library||Dawn|
|Cheshire - Cheshire Public Library||Maria|
|Chester - Chester Public Library||Dawn|
|Clinton - Henry Carter Hull Library||Dawn|
|Colchester - Cragin Memorial Library||Dawn|
|Columbia - Saxton B. Little Free Library||Dawn|
|Cornwall - Cornwall Library Association||Maria|
|Coventry - Booth & Dimock Memorial Library||Dawn|
|Cromwell - Cromwell Belden Public Library||Dawn|
|Danbury - Danbury Public Library||Maria|
|Darien - Darien Library||Maria|
|Deep River - Deep River Public Library||Dawn|
|Derby - Derby Public Library||Maria|
|Durham - Durham Public Library||Dawn|
|East Granby - East Granby Public Library||Maria|
|East Haddam - East Haddam Free Public Library||Dawn|
|East Hampton - East Hampton Public Library||Dawn|
|East Hartford - East Hartford Public Library||Dawn|
|East Haven - Hagaman Memorial Library||Maria|
|East Lyme - East Lyme Public Library||Dawn|
|East Windsor - Library Association of Warehouse Point||Dawn|
|Eastford - Eastford Public Library||Dawn|
|Easton - Easton Public Library||Maria|
|Ellington - Hall Memorial Library||Dawn|
|Enfield - Enfield Public Library||Dawn|
|Essex - Essex Library Association||Dawn|
|Fairfield - Fairfield Public Library||Maria|
|Farmington - Farmington Libraries||Maria|
|Franklin - Janet Carlson Calvert Library||Dawn|
|Glastonbury - Welles-Turner Memorial Library||Dawn|
|Goshen - Goshen Public Library||Maria|
|Granby - Granby Public Library||Maria|
|Greenwich - Greenwich Library||Maria|
|Griswold - Slater Library||Dawn|
|Groton - Groton Public Library||Dawn|
|Guilford - Guilford Free Library||Maria|
|Haddam - Brainerd Memorial Library||Dawn|
|Hamden - Hamden Public Library||Maria|
|Hampton - Fletcher Memorial Library||Dawn|
|Hartford - Hartford Public Library||Dawn|
|Hartland - Hartland Public Library||Maria|
|Harwinton - Harwinton Public Library||Maria|
|Hebron - Douglas Library of Hebron||Dawn|
|Kent - Kent Library Association||Maria|
|Killingly - Killingly Public Library||Dawn|
|Killingworth - Killingworth Library||Dawn|
|Lebanon - Jonathan Trumbull Library||Dawn|
|Ledyard - Ledyard Public Libraries||Dawn|
|Litchfield - Oliver Wolcott Library||Maria|
|Lyme - Lyme Public Library||Dawn|
|Madison - E.C. Scranton Memorial Library||Maria|
|Manchester - Manchester Public Library||Dawn|
|Mansfield - Mansfield Public Library||Dawn|
|Marlborough - Richmond Memorial Library||Dawn|
|Meriden - Meriden Public Library||Maria|
|Middlebury - Middlebury Public Library||Maria|
|Middlefield - Levi E. Coe Library||Maria|
|Middletown - Russell Library||Dawn|
|Milford - Milford Public Library||Maria|
|Monroe - Edith Wheeler Memorial Library||Maria|
|Montville - Raymond Library||Dawn|
|Morris - Morris Public Library||Maria|
|Naugatuck - Howard Whittemore Memorial Library||Maria|
|New Britain - New Britain Public Library||Maria|
|New Canaan - New Canaan Library||Maria|
|New Fairfield - New Fairfield Free Public Library||Maria|
|New Hartford - Licia & Mason Beekley Community Library||Maria|
|New Haven - New Haven Free Public Library||Maria|
|New London - Public Library of New London||Dawn|
|New Milford - New Milford Public Library||Maria|
|Newington - Lucy Robbins Welles Library||Maria|
|Newtown - Cyrenius H. Booth Library||Maria|
|Norfolk - Norfolk Library||Maria|
|North Branford - North Branford Library Department||Maria|
|North Canaan - Douglas Library||Maria|
|North Haven - North Haven Memorial Library||Maria|
|North Stonington - Wheeler Library||Dawn|
|Norwalk - Norwalk Public Library||Maria|
|Norwich - Otis Library||Dawn|
|Old Lyme - Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library||Dawn|
|Old Saybrook - Acton Public Library||Dawn|
|Orange - Case Memorial Library||Maria|
|Oxford - Oxford Public Library||Maria|
|Plainfield - Aldrich Free Public Library||Dawn|
|Plainville - Plainville Public Library||Maria|
|Plymouth - Terryville Public Library||Maria|
|Pomfret - Pomfret Public Library||Dawn|
|Portland - Portland Public Library||Dawn|
|Preston - Preston Public Library||Dawn|
|Prospect - Prospect Public Library||Maria|
|Putnam - Putnam Public Library||Dawn|
|Redding - Mark Twain Library||Maria|
|Ridgefield - Ridgefield Library||Maria|
|Rocky Hill - Cora J. Belden Library||Dawn|
|Roxbury - Minor Memorial Library||Maria|
|Salem - Salem Free Public Library||Dawn|
|Salisbury - Scoville Memorial Library||Maria|
|Scotland - Scotland Public Library||Dawn|
|Seymour - Seymour Public Library||Maria|
|Sharon - Hotchkiss Library of Sharon||Maria|
|Shelton - Plumb Memorial Library||Maria|
|Sherman - Sherman Library Assn.||Maria|
|Simsbury - Simsbury Public Library||Maria|
|Somers - Somers Public Library||Dawn|
|South Windsor - South Windsor Public Library||Dawn|
|Southbury - Southbury Public Library||Maria|
|Southington - Southington Public Library||Maria|
|Sprague - Sprague Public Library||Dawn|
|Stafford - Stafford Library||Dawn|
|Stamford - Ferguson Library||Maria|
|Sterling - Sterling Public Library||Dawn|
|Stonington - Stonington Free Library||Dawn|
|Stratford - Stratford Library Association||Maria|
|Suffield - Kent Memorial Library||Dawn|
|Thomaston - Thomaston Public Library||Maria|
|Thompson - Thompson Public Library||Dawn|
|Tolland - Tolland Public Library||Dawn|
|Torrington - Torrington Library||Maria|
|Trumbull - Trumbull Library||Maria|
|Union - Union Free Public Library||Dawn|
|Vernon - Rockville Public Library, Inc.||Dawn|
|Voluntown - Voluntown Public Library||Dawn|
|Wallingford - Wallingford Public Library||Maria|
|Warren - Warren Public Library||Maria|
|Washington - Gunn Memorial Library||Maria|
|Waterbury - Silas Bronson Library||Maria|
|Waterford - Waterford Public Library||Dawn|
|Watertown - Watertown Library Association||Maria|
|West Hartford - West Hartford Public Library||Maria|
|West Haven - West Haven Public Library||Maria|
|Westbrook - Westbrook Public Library||Dawn|
|Weston - Weston Public Library||Maria|
|Westport - Westport Library||Maria|
|Wethersfield - Wethersfield Public Library||Dawn|
|Willington - Willington Public Library||Dawn|
|Wilton - Wilton Library Association||Maria|
|Winchester - Beardsley & Memorial Library||Maria|
|Windham - Willimantic Public Library||Dawn|
|Windsor - Windsor Public Library||Dawn|
|Windsor Locks - Windsor Locks Public Library||Dawn|
|Wolcott - Wolcott Public Library||Maria|
|Woodbridge - Woodbridge Town Library||Maria|
|Woodbury - Woodbury Public Library||Maria|
|Woodstock - Howard W. Bracken Memorial Library||Dawn|
Use these acknowledgements for all spoken, online, and printed promotional materials, including interviews, websites, emails, discussion list posts, flyers, advertisements, presentations, slideshows, evaluation forms, newsletters, and press releases.
Use the following wording:
"This project is made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act, administered by the Connecticut State Library.”
Include the CSL logo and IMLS logo, which are available for download at the bottom of this box. For online materials, link the logos to www.ctstatelibrary.org and www.imls.gov.
When to use acknowledgements:
All equipment purchased with grant funds must be identified on the library's inventory as purchased with LSTA funds and must be marked “Purchased with LSTA funds” in a visible location.
On social media, use @US_IMLS and #IMLSgrant on all platforms when promoting your project.
Final Grant Report
The grant report form is available as a Word document above or in the Documents & Forms box on the left-hand side of this page. Download and fill out the form, and sign it.
Send this information to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4:00 pm on June 1, 2022:
All the grant money must be spent, not just encumbered. The soft deadline for spending is February 28, 2022, with a hard deadline of March 31, 2022. Be sure to spend ALL the money, down to zero.
With your narrative responses, be sure to indicate how you improved digital inclusion for your patrons, whether through expanded WiFi, more laptops and hotspots, safe places for computer use, etc. If you have any anecdotes from happy patrons, or before and after photos, please include them!
“Proof of expenditures” can include copies of order confirmation emails from an online store where you paid with a credit card, receipts, quotations or invoices marked “paid,” copies of checks, etc. On the printouts or in the pdf filenames, indicate what budget category those expenses fall into, such as a handwritten notation on the invoices that they’re for PPE or indoor furniture, or pdf file names such as “IT” or “cleaning.”
Do not include sales tax in your expenses – that’s not an allowable use of the grant funds.
As a reminder, you are required to credit the Connecticut State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services in your press releases, newsletter articles, social media posts, etc, about this project. See the Acknowledgement Guidelines for specific wording, and see the Documents and Forms box at left for a press packet and press release template.
Deadlines for ARPA grants from CT State Library:
These approved applications and narratives provide you with examples of how to describe your project so it adheres to the three IMLS high priority spending categories of digital inclusion, safe pandemic response, implementation of public health protocols, and library services that meet the needs of your communities. Updated 6/10/2021.
Connecticut State Library | 231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106 | 860-757-6500 * Toll-free 866-886-4478
The State of Connecticut is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and strongly encourages the applications of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.