Professional Development Grants Program

Individual Professional Development Grants

Tom Taylor, Chair
Andover Public Library
1511 E. Central Avenue
Andover, KS 67002
Phone: 316.558.3500
E-mail: prof_development@mpla.us

MPLA Professional Development Grants Committee

Application Due dates (2014): 29 January 2014, 26 March 2014, 28 May 2014, 30 July 2014, 24 September 2014, 26 November 2014

Grant Application Forms

Purpose

MPLA sponsors a professional development grants program to improve library services in the Mountain Plains region by supporting continuing education and research experiences for individuals employed in the library or related professions and grants to states. The program is administered by the Professional Development Grants Committee.

Projects Funded

“The defined areas for which grant awards are given is intentionally a broad interpretation of possible actions for individual MPLA members to use when applying for Professional Development Grants. It is also intended to allow the Professional Development Grants Committee full latitude and responsibility for the evaluation and responsibility for the evaluation and response to grant applications.”

Grants are awarded to support the following (not listed in priority order):

  1. Formal course work leading to an advanced degree in library science or a related discipline.
  2. Formal course work not leading to an advanced degree but directly related to an individual’s library position.
  3. Attendance as a participant or a presenter at a library or scholarly workshop, seminar, or conference, including the MPLA annual conference.
  4. Visits to another library to receive or provide significant advanced training in library services or procedures.
  5. Library related research projects.

Grant Categories

MPLA sponsors two categories of individual professional development grants:

  • Mini-grant – Funding for projects requiring minimal financial support. (Maximum amount = $150.00)
  • Regular grant – Funding for projects requiring substantial financial support, and for occasional funding of professional development opportunities requiring travel outside the United States.
    (Maximum amount = $600.00)

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Residence

    To be eligible for a mini-grant an applicant must be a resident of a state in the MPLA region. If an applicant moved from the MPLA region after being approved for a grant but before the grant is actually awarded then the applicant is not entitled to receive funding, even if the project was completed.

  2. Association Membership

    All MPLA members are eligible for professional development grants. Members of the Professional Development Grants Committee, however, may not vote on their own applications.

    • Mini-grant – Applicant must be a current member of MPLA and must have been a member for the past full calendar year.
    • Regular Grant – Applicant must be a current member of MPLA and must have been a member for the past two calendar years (total of three consecutive years).
  3. Employment

    To be eligible for a professional development grant an applicant must be currently employed in a library, be a student accepted in an advance degree program in library science or a related discipline, or hold a position or office associated with a library such as a trustee. Grant funding will generally not be awarded to a student unless that student was previously employed in a library or related position in the MPLA region and intends to pursue his or her library career in the MPLA region.

  4. Past Recipients of Grants

    A past recipient of a professional development grant may not apply for another grant until three years have elapsed following the end of the calendar year in which the previous grant was approved.

Funding Priorities

The PDG Committee considers the following criteria in evaluating grant applications.

  1. Priority is awarded to first-time applicants to encourage membership in the association, stimulate the growth of individuals new to the library profession, and extend the benefits of MPLA membership to as many individuals as possible.
  2. Priority is awarded to research projects and continuing education experiences that promise the greatest benefit to the applicant and library service in the MPLA Region.
  3. Priority is awarded to research projects and continuing education experiences that are directly related to the applicant’s library assignment.
  4. Applicants are generally not awarded more than one grant to pursue the same continuing education experience or research project. For example, applicants are not generally awarded more than one grant to support course work toward a degree or attend a workshop, seminar, or conference attended in the past with grant support.
  5. Research projects are funded only if the project has been well planned, will utilize sound research methodology and promises to produce meaningful results that will benefit the library or associated professions.
  6. When more worthy grant applications are received than can be funded, the committee gives priority to applicants with continuing records of MPLA membership.
  7. No limit is placed on the number of applications which may be received from one library during the calendar year.

Budget and Awards

  1. The MPLA Board annually allocates a budget to support the grants program. The budget equals the funding for grants approved but not yet awarded from the previous year plus the funding the Board wishes to award for grants in the coming year. Funding for grants that have been approved but are not then awarded is returned to the MPLA general fund.
  2. Grant funding is awarded to reimburse actual expenses incurred during a project. Transportation will be reimbursed for the lowest possible fare or for personal vehicles, mileage for the shortest route at the amount per mile allowed for federal income tax deductions. Grant funding for course work will be limited to tuition, fees and books. Funding approved but not needed to reimburse expenses is returned to the MPLA general fund. Expenses in excess of the grant funding approved are not reimbursed.

Application Procedure and Review Process

  1. Applicant submits the completed application form and any supporting materials to the MPLA Executive secretary, via email to execsecretary@mpla.us prior to the event and the appropriate application deadline.
  2. Applicant will be notified by the MPLA Executive Secretary that the grant application was received.
  3. The MPLA Executive Secretary reviews the application to insure the applicant is eligible for the grant requested. If the applicant is eligible for the grant, the MPLA Executive Secretary forwards copies of the application and supporting materials to members of the Committee. If the individual is not eligible for the grant, the MPLA Executive Secretary returns the application with an explanation of what must be done to meet eligibility requirements.
  4. The application is evaluated by the committee and approved, rejected or referred back to the applicant with a request for further information. The committee chair communicates the committee’s decision in writing to the applicant, with a copy to the MPLA Executive Secretary.
  5. The applicant submits the evaluative report electronically to the MPLA Executive Secretary within two months of completing the grant project. The MPLA Executive Secretary forwards copies of the evaluative report to the committee. If the grant was for formal course work taken for academic credit, evidence must be included to support that the course work was successfully completed.
  6. The committee reviews the evaluative report and accepts it, rejects it, or refers it back to the applicant with a request for further information. The committee chair communicates the committee’s decision in writing to the applicant, with a copy to the MPLA Executive Secretary.
  7. If the evaluative report is approved, the MPLA Executive Secretary issues a check to reimburse actual expenses associated with the grant project. If the evaluative report is rejected, no funding will be awarded to the applicant.
  8. The chair forwards a copy of the approved evaluative report to the MPLA Newsletter Editor for possible publication.