Founding Era

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. May I preview the application before completing it?

A. Yes. You may download a PDF of the application for reference; the application process is also covered in detail in Section V of the project guidelines.

Q. May applications be submitted in hard copy?

A. No. Applications must be submitted online at LINK by 11:59 p.m. (Central) on February 7, 2018. Applications that are late or incomplete will not be reviewed.

Q. What types of libraries are eligible?

A. This opportunity is open to all public libraries in the U.S. and U.S. territories.

Q. What will my library receive, if selected?

A. Each selected library will receive a $1000 stipend to support costs associated with implementing programs; 10 copies of a 100-page reader with selected primary source documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection in print and digital formats; professional development training via a required webinar; access to a public facing website with the 100-page reader in downloadable PDF format, videos, additional primary sources, and links to materials on the GLI website; a site support notebook, developed by GLI, with programming ideas, instructions for how to connect with humanities scholars and further reading; downloadable and customizable marketing and promotional materials to invite participation in your local programs; and programming support from the Gilder Lehrman Institute.

Q. Is there a programming stipend associated with the award?

A. Yes, each selected library will receive a $1000 grant.

Q. What are the requirements if my library is selected?

A. To be directed to the requirements, click here.

Q. How many public libraries will be selected?

A. A total of 100 sites will be selected.

Q. Can more than one branch of my library system apply?

A. While not recommended, more than one branch of a library system may apply for the award. However, it should be noted that the branches will be competing directly with one another for the award. If you choose to apply on behalf of a multi-branch library system, your programming can be held at more than one branch during the programming period.

Q. How do I apply?

A. Register or sign in using the links below to begin your application.

Q. What if I have questions about my application?

A. Call the ALA Public Programs Office with any application or grant-related questions: (312) 280-5045 or toll free at (800) 545-2433 x 5045. You can also send an e-mail to

Q. How long does the application take to fill out?

A. You can download a PDF of the application to prepare your answers ahead of time. Once you have the data requested and your narrative answer written, it should take approximately 15 minutes to fill out.

Q. Do I need to decide now which programming track I will implement?

A. Yes, we ask in the application for you to determine which track you plan to follow, and to summarize some program ideas you have around that.

Q. Can I do both Track A and Track B in my programming?

A. If you have the resources to do so, you certainly can, as long as all of the grant requirements are fulfilled.

Q. What criteria will be used to evaluate the applications?

A. Reviewers will assess the clarity and completeness of the application, the overall vision for the program series, demonstrated capacity to implement quality programs for the intended audiences and qualifications and capacity of partners and presenters. Other factors that may influence the final selection of libraries include location, size and demographics of the community. Rural and small libraries will be emphasized during the selection process. Please see the Guidelines for full information.

Q. What is a certifying official?

A. A certifying official is an individual who is authorized to submit applications for funding on behalf of the organization. This could be your library’s or library system’s director, a financial officer, or other administrator within your library or library system. By certifying your application, this individual is ensuring that (a) your institution is eligible to receive this grant, and (b) your institution will follow the grant requirements as stated.

Q. How will I be notified about the status of my application?

A. You will receive a confirmation email once your application is successfully submitted. All applicants will be notified of their award status via email by March 7, 2018.

Q. Can I edit my application after it has been submitted?

A. No, you cannot.

Q. When is the application deadline?

A. Applications will be accepted between December 15, 2017 and February 7, 2018. Applications must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. (Central) on February 7, 2018. Late or incomplete applications, and applications from ineligible institutions, will not be reviewed. Applications and support materials may not be submitted by mail or e-mail.

Q. When will I be notified if my library is selected?

A. All applicants will be notified of their award status by March 7, 2018.

To access the application system, sign in with your profile.