Media Literacy @ Your Library

Project Guidelines

Date Posted: August 1, 2017

Application Period: August 1 – September 11, 2017

Award Announcement: September 25, 2017


Contact the American Library Association (ALA) staff at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or

Table of Contents

I. Program Description

Media Literacy @ Your Library is a project of the American Library Association in collaboration with the Center for News Literacy @ Stony Brook University, supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund, and the Rita Allen Foundation.

This project addresses a critical need in the field and the diverse communities libraries serve for adult media literacy training, with a focus on news literacy. The goal of the prototype project is to develop media literacy training and complementary resources designed to prepare public library professionals to educate their adult patrons to be informed consumers of media.

Teams from five public libraries will participate in media literacy training and implement a series of programs for their communities. This cohort of prototype libraries will receive training, promotional materials, and other resources to help them develop effective and innovative adult media literacy programs and services.

During the programming period, participating libraries will help create an online learning series by providing feedback on their experiences. Five public libraries will be selected to receive the Media Literacy @ Your Library grant through a competitive application process. These five libraries will in turn serve as models for other libraries.

All Media Literacy @ Your Library programs must take place between November 1, 2017 and March 30, 2018.

II. Eligibility

  • Public libraries located in the United States and its territories.
  • Individuals and organizations other than public libraries are not eligible to apply.
  • Late, incomplete, and ineligible applications will not be reviewed.

III. Award Information

Three-person teams from five public libraries will be selected.

Benefits for Libraries

Libraries selected for the project will receive the following:

  • $1,500 to support program-related expenses (eligible expenses may include travel, some meals, promotion and programming costs).
  • An intensive six-month experience that will include training and support for a three-person library team to develop and implement media literacy programming for adult patrons.
  • In-person media literacy workshop training, with a focus on news literacy, to be held on Thursday, October 19, 2017 in Chicago.
  • Hotel lodging (two nights) and some meals for the in-person training.
  • Communications support in the form of template press releases, social media messaging and digital promotional materials.
  • Access to a community of practice in the field through dedicated groups in ALA Connect (ALA’s professional networking/collaboration site for working groups and communities of practice).
  • Technical and programming support from the ALA Public Programs Office throughout the grant term.
  • National recognition as prototyping libraries.
Requirements for Libraries
  • Full team participation. Three-person teams must include a library director or manager. The additional two team members may include additional library staff and/or community members with an understanding of the library and community to work with the library during the project (e.g. a library trustee, board member or active friends group member). Team members must be identified in the library application by name, title, and affiliation in proposal.
  • Attendance by full team at the October 19, 2017, media literacy training.
  • Participation by a minimum of two team members in three prototype webinars and feedback sessions.
  • Internal team work to create and implement at least three public programs during the program period, between November 1, 2017 and March 30, 2018.
  • Full participation as feedback group, providing candid evaluation to direct the development of media literacy trainings for the wider library field.
  • Serve as ambassadors for the work and mentors to the field (including participating in the community of practice and responding to periodic requests for information from Media Literacy @ Your Library project staff)
  • Participation in the evaluation and reporting process, including journaling and responding to/providing surveys that will gather substantive feedback your teams’ and patrons’ experiences with programs and trainings.
  • Estimated time commitment for in-person training is eight hours, per person, plus travel time.
  • Libraries will need to cover any and all expenses beyond two hotel nights and meals, provided by ALA on the day of the training. Costs associated with worskshop participation may be mitigated by the $1,500 library stipend.
  • Submission of a final report to ALA by April 30, 2018.

IV. Application and Submission Information

ALA will accept applications for Media Literacy @ Your Library between August 1 and September 11, 2017.

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions before filling out an application.

Getting Started

To begin the application process, go to the project home page.

To apply for Media Literacy @ Your Library, you must complete the following steps:

  • Register or Log In
  • Complete Project Director Information
  • Complete the Project Team Information
  • Write the Proposal Narrative
  • Provide Budget Detail
  • Upload Supporting Materials
  • List Authorizing Official and Certify Authorization
  • Review and Edit Your Application
  • Submit Your Application
  1. Register
  2. Before you access the application, you must register to create an application account.


  3. Log In
  4. If you have already registered when applying for another ALA Public Programs Office grant project, you may log in using your e-mail address and password.

  5. Complete Project Director Information
  6. Note: The project director is the primary point of contact for the project at the applicant library.

    To complete Step 3, provide all the information that is requested on the Project Director Information screen. You must then save the information.

    After clicking the "Save" button, you will be able to return to the application at any time and log in using your email address and password. This will allow you to edit, save, and return to your application as needed prior to the September 11, 2017 submission deadline.

  7. Complete Project Team Information
  8. Your team consists of the project director, plus two other team members. Enter these team members' names, contact information, and optionally, institutional affiliation, if the institution is different from that of the project director. Team members will be displayed in a table as you enter them.

    To edit an entry, select the "Edit" check box in that team member's row, and then click "Edit/Delete". To delete an entry, select the "Delete" check box, and click "Edit/Delete." The form requires that you include two members before you can proceed with the application. The person listed as project director on this application is the third person on the team and will be the primary point of contact for the project.

  9. Write the Proposal Narrative
  10. Before you complete the narrative section of this proposal, we strongly recommend that you read these guidelines and FAQs carefully. If you do not, your proposal is unlikely to be competitive. You may save your work at any time with the “Save” button.

    The proposal narrative consists of five sections (described immediately below). Please note that each section of the narrative may not exceed 600 words.

    Be sure to address the following points in your narrative:

    1. Describe why your library would like to participate in this prototype project, including:
      1. Your primary goals for your library in connection to this project;
      2. What is your library's experience with or activities surrounding media literacy;
      3. What you hope to achieve as a next step;
      4. How being involved in this project will help you achieve these goals and next steps.
    2. Tell us about the community where you plan to present Media Literacy @ Your Library programs, and why you feel it’s important that your library bring media literacy skills to adult patrons. Include details such as geography, socio-economic conditions, ethnocultural make-up, and anecdotes that demonstrate the specific opportunities and challenges you hope to address.
    3. Describe any past partnerships or involvement with local, regional, and/or national media organizations. Please provide specific examples.
    4. Describe your ideas for implementing at least three Media Literacy @ Your Library programs. Provide as much information as possible including tentative program descriptions, target audience, ideas for outreach to attract adult program participants, and potential partnerships. (Please note, you may upload any supporting material, such as sample publicity materials and letters of support, in the Attachments section.)
    5. Have members of your library team participated in prior media literacy training(s) or done any work with this topic? If so, please describe.
  11. Budget
  12. Budget detail

    Using the table generator provided, complete a budget for your proposed Media Literacy @ Your Library project activities. Allowable expenses include travel, communications and program expenses. Staff time is not an allowable expense.

    Grant amount

    Participating libraries will receive $1,500 grants to support participation in the project.

    Optional donations and matching funds

    If you anticipate receiving or leveraging in-kind or matching donations from a source other than this grant, you may include that information here. (Please note that matching funds may include library support in the form of staff time, travel, etc; partners' support; friends groups; and sponsors.) You will be prompted to enter both the dollar amount and a brief, one-sentence description of the source. This information is optional.

  13. Upload Supporting Materials
  14. Upload any supporting material related to your application. This may include letters of support, sample publicity materials, etc.

  15. Certify Authorization to Submit Application
  16. An application to Media Literacy @ Your Library is an application for an award from the ALA, using funding provided by Democracy Fund. ALA is required by law to ask applicants to identify for each application a certifying official who is authorized to submit applications for funding on behalf of the organization.

    To complete this section, you must enter all of the information that is requested.

  17. Review and Edit Your Application
  18. The Review and Edit page summarizes all the information that you have entered, including your Project Director Information and your Proposal Narrative. From this page you can:

    • Review and edit each section;
    • Save the entire application and log out of the system; or
    • Move ahead to certify and submit your application.
  19. Submit Your Application
  20. Once you have completed all parts of your application, you may submit it at any time by selecting the "Submit" button. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CDT on September 11, 2017. Applications submitted after that time will be considered ineligible.

    Note that once you have submitted your application, you can no longer alter it. The application will then be submitted for review.

    You will receive an e-mail confirming submission of your application. At the confirmation page you will be able to print out a copy of your application. Print and keep this copy for your records.

V. Application Review

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Clarity and completeness of the application
  • Library ability to commit time of staff to meet requirements of the cohort experience
  • Clear articulation of how media literacy training and programs might benefit the library and community it serves
  • Quality of proposed programs
  • The overall vision for the library's participation in the project

Other factors that may influence the final selection of libraries include:

  • Geographic location
  • Community type (i.e. urban, suburban, rural)
  • Community size

ALA will strive to create a cohort of participating libraries that represents a cross section of public libraries and communities.

Peer Review and Selection Process

Each application will be reviewed by a panel of library workers and project staff. ALA will make the final decisions.

VI. Award Administration Information

Application deadline: September 11, 2017

Grant notification: September 25, 2017

Mandatory In-person Training: October 19, 2017

Programming period: November 1, 2017 – March 30, 2018

Final report due: April 30, 2018

VII. Points of Contact

If you have questions about the program, contact:

Public Programs Office
American Library Association
1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045

VIII. Other information

Application completion time

ALA estimates that the average time to complete this application is two hours, per response. This estimate includes time for reviewing instructions, researching, gathering, and maintaining the information needed, and completing and reviewing the application. Additional time needed to complete the proposed program plan will vary by library and complexity of plan.

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