The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War

  • Date Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017
  • Deadline for Submission: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 by 11:59 pm (CDT)
  • Award Notification Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Read the grant FAQ and carefully review the requirements in each category before applying.

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

Table of Contents

I. Program Description

In partnership with WETA in Washington, D.C., the American Library Association (ALA) has developed a programming kit for The Vietnam War, a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick for public libraries. This kit includes a programming guide and a copy of the full documentary series on DVD, with public performance rights. This kit will help public libraries participate in a national conversation about one of the most consequential, divisive and controversial events in American history.

In an immersive narrative, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam war as it has never before been told on film. Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides—Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as combatants and civilians from North and South Vietnam.

Ten years in the making, the series includes rarely seen, digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies and secret audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations. The Vietnam War features more than 100 iconic musical recordings from the greatest artists of the era and haunting original music from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as the Silk Road Ensemble featuring Yo-Yo Ma.

II. Award Information

ALA and WETA will award up to fifty (50) programming kits to public libraries to support applicants that are interested in hosting programs related to the Vietnam War.

Benefits for Award Recipients

  1. A DVD collection of the 10 part, 18-hour documentary series The Vietnam War with public performance rights (PPR).
  2. Print materials for local program promotion and publicity, including posters, bookmarks and postcards.
  3. A programming guide developed by ALA, WETA and a panel of librarian advisors.
  4. A suite of online resources developed to support local programs.
  5. Opportunities for partnership with local PBS station(s).
  6. Invitations to participate in periodic online learning opportunities for grantees.
  7. Technical and programming support from the ALA Public Programs Office throughout the grant term, including participation in an online discussion list for The Vietnam War project directors and staff.

III. Eligibility

All public libraries in the U.S. and U.S. territories are eligible to apply.

IV. Requirements

All institutions that receive the programming kit must meet the following program requirements:

  • Implement at least one program related to The Vietnam War film before January 1, 2018.
  • Appoint one staff member as the project director (local coordinator) of the project.
  • Promote the programs to the widest possible public audience.
  • Schedule programs to take place between August 30, 2017, and January 1, 2018.
  • Provide a final impact report form specifying audience reach to ALA by the February 1, 2018, deadline.

V. Application and Submission Information

ALA will accept applications for The Vietnam War between June 16, 2017, and August 1, 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 the The Vietnam War programming kit, you must complete the following steps:

  • REGISTER to (if you have not previously registered when applying for a different ALA project)
  • LOG IN (if you have already registered when applying for a different ALA project)
  1. Register or Log In
  2. Before you access the application, you must either:

    • Register to create an application account, OR
    • 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.

  3. Complete Project Director Information
  4. Note: The project director is the person who will be responsible for coordinating the The Vietnam War program series at the library. He/she/they will be the primary point of contact for the project at the applicant institution.

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

    Please be aware, all institutions receiving an award are required to provide a DUNS number (issued by Dun & Bradstreet) upon acceptance of the award. Project directors should contact their institution's grants administrator or chief financial officer to obtain their institution's DUNS number. Federal grant or subgrant applicants can obtain a DUNS number free of charge by calling 1-866-705-5711.

    After clicking the SAVE button, you will be able to return to the application at any time and log in using your e-mail address and password. This will allow you to edit, save and return to your application as needed prior to the August 1, 2017, submission deadline.

  5. Write Proposal Narrative
  6. Before you compose the narrative part of this application, we strongly recommend that you read these guidelines carefully. If you do not, your application is unlikely to be competitive.

    Please write a brief narrative describing why your library would like to offer programming in conjunction with The Vietnam War, a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Include relevant community interests and demographics, and why the cultural life of your community would benefit from programming on The Vietnam War. Describe your program ideas and target audiences.

    Please note your answer may not exceed 600 words.

  7. Certify Authorization to Submit Application
  8. An application for The Vietnam War opportunity is an application for an award from the ALA, with support from PBS and WETA. 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 the information that is requested.

  9. Review and Edit Your Application
  10. 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.
  11. Submit Your Application
  12. 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 August 1, 2017. Applications submitted after that time will not be considered.

    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.

VI. Application Review

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Clarity and completeness of the application. Has the applicant supplied all required information, including all sections of the proposal narrative and the programming schedule? Are plans and ideas for programs described clearly?
  • The overall vision for the program series. How does this project relate to your community? Will the programs your offer serve those needs?

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

  • Location of the sites. The selection committee would like programs to take place in all regions of the country.
  • Size and demographics of the community. The selection committee seeks a mix of communities of different sizes and varied demographics.

Applicants are encouraged to address questions about the selection guidelines, process and requirements to the ALA Public Programs Office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or

Review and Selection Process

Each application will be assessed by a panel of librarians and project staff of ALA and WETA. ALA's Public Programs Office and WETA will make the final decisions.

VII. Award Administration Information

  • Application deadline: August 1, 2017, 11:59 pm (CDT)
  • Award notification: August 29, 2017
  • Programming Period: August 30, 2017—January 1, 2018
  • Final Report Due: February 1, 2018

VIII. Points of Contact

If you have questions, contact:

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

The Vietnam War Production Credits:

The Vietnam War is a production of Florentine Films and WETA, Washington D.C. Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Written by Geoffrey C. Ward. Produced by Sarah Botstein, Lynn Novick and Ken Burns.

Airdate: Premieres September 17, 2017, on PBS.

About WETA:

WETA Washington, DC, is one of the largest producing stations of new content for public television in the United States. WETA productions and co-productions include PBS NewsHour, Washington Week, The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize, The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, Latino Americans and The Italian Americans; documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including The Civil War, Baseball, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History and The Vietnam War; and productions by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., including Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Season Three), Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise and Africa's Great Civilizations. WETA presentations include Martha Stewart's Cooking School, Pati's Mexican Table, Sara's Weeknight Meals, Globe Trekker and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO. The WETA studios and administrative offices are located in Arlington, Virginia. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at On social media, visit on Facebook or follow @WETAtvfm on Twitter.

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