Grants are awarded to support the following:

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

Value of Grants

Annual budget equals the funding for grants approved but not yet awarded from the previous year plus the funding awarded for grants in the coming year. Funding for grants that have been approved but are not awarded is returned to the MPLA general fund.

MPLA sponsors the two categories of grants:

Funding for projects requiring minimal financial support. (Maximum amount: $150)
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)

Grant Funding

  • Reimbursement of actual expenses incurred during a project.
  • Transportation reimbursement for the lowest possible fare or for personal vehicles, mileage for the shortest route at the amount per mile allowed for deduction for federal income tax deductions.
  • Grant funding for course work 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.

Funding Priorities

  • To first-time applicants for a MPLA grant to encourage active participation 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.
  • To research projects and continuing education experiences that promise the greatest benefit to the applicant and library service in the MPLA region.
  • To research projects and continuing education experiences that are directly related to the applicant's library assignment.
  • Applicants are generally not awarded more than one grant to pursue the same continuing education experience or research project. For example, more than one grant to support course work toward a degree or to attend a workshop, seminar, or conference attended in the past with grant support.
  • 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.
  • When more worthy grant applications are received than can be funded, the committee gives priority to applicants with continuing records of MPLA membership.
  • No limit is placed on the number of applications that may be received from one library during the calendar year.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Residence
    Mini-grant or regular grant applicants 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, the applicant is not entitled to receive funding, even if the project was completed.
  • Association Membership
    Applicant must be a current member of MPLA and must have been a member for the previous year (a total of two consecutive years.)
    Regular grant
    Applicant must be a current member of MPLA and must have been a member for the past two years (total of 3 consecutive years, one must be as a full paid member).
  • Employment
    Applicant must be currently employed in a library, be a student accepted in an advanced 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.
  • MPLA Officers, Committee Chairs, and Members, and Grant Committee Members.
    All MPLA members are eligible for professional development grants. Members of the Professional Development Grants Committee may not vote on their own applications.
  • 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.
  • Applications for previous continuing education events will not be accepted.

Application Procedure and Review Process

  1. Application forms are available as Word or PDF files from the MPLA website. If a member is not able to access the application form electronically, it can be requested from the Chair of the MPLA Professional Development Grants Committee or the MPLA Executive Secretary.
  2. The application must be submitted as an email attachment to the MPLA Executive Secretary. Any supporting materials for which electronic submission is not realistic may be mailed. Applications may be mailed if electronic submission is not possible.
  3. Applicant will be notified by the MPLA Executive Secretary that the grant application was received.
  4. 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 electronically. 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.
  5. 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 by email to the applicant, with a copy to the MPLA Executive Secretary. If the application is approved, the chair also provides the applicant with information for obtaining the evaluative report from the MPLA website.
  6. The applicant submits the completed evaluative report to the MPLA Executive Secretary as an email attachment within two months of completing the grant project. Any supporting documentation may be mailed to the Executive Secretary. 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.
  7. 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 by email to the applicant, with a copy to the MPLA Executive Secretary.
  8. 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.
  9. The chair forwards a copy of the approved evaluative report to the MPLA Newsletter Editor for possible publication.

Grants are awarded to encourage opportunities for continuing education for the MPLA membership through pre or post conferences at the annual meetings of state associations in the region. If a state does not offer pre/post conference programs, that state can be awarded a grant for a presentation of comparable significance during the conference.

Value of Grants

  • Grants up to $500 will be awarded to state associations.
  • Funding available to satisfy the grants is appropriated by the MPLA Board of Directors each year at the annual budget approval meeting.

Requirements for Application

  • Applications will be accepted in the name of a state library association, information services association, or a unit thereof, which is affiliated with MPLA.
  • Submission of the application must be authorized by the Board of Directors or governing committee of the state association in whose name the application is placed.
  • As part of the application, the applicant must submit a narrative statement describing the proposed pre/post conference program and an itemized budget of expected expenses.
  • The Mountain Plains Library Association must be identified as an assisting agency in pre/post conference publicity and during the pre/post conference.
  • The application should be accompanied, whenever possible, by printed materials, such as publicity releases or samples of mass mailings, which describe the program.

Evaluation of Grant Applications

  • The value of a grant application will be judged by the members of the MPLA Professional Development Committee on the basis of:
    1. Potential educational value for the intended audience.
    2. Degree of current need for training, study or evaluation in the subject area of the proposed pre-conference.
    3. Professional level of planning for implementation of the proposed pre/post conference.
  • Potential benefit for the members of the Mountain Plains Library Association.

Conditions of Grant

  1. MPLA members attending the event for which the grant is awarded (pre, post, or regular conference) must receive the same discounted rates as members of the state association receiving the grant.
  2. Officers of the recipient association must agree to give the MPLA Board of Directors, through the Professional Development Committee Chair, an evaluative report of the pre/post conference program as it occurred. For benefit of the MPLA membership, the evaluative report may be published in the MPLA Newsletter or other publications.
  3. Upon receipt and approval of the complete evaluative report by the Chair of the MPLA Professional Development Committee no later than 2 months following the completion of the pre/post conference for which the grant was approved, the MPLA Executive Secretary will be notified to mail the grant check.

Application Procedures

  1. Applications are available on the MPLA web site. If there is no access to the web site applications may be requested from the Chair of the Professional Development Committee, or from the MPLA Executive Secretary.
  2. Completed applications may be submitted to the MPLA Executive Secretary at any time during the year. However, applications must be submitted by June 1 from those states which have Fall conferences and by February 1 from those states which have Spring conferences.
  3. Selection of awards will be made by majority approval of the Professional Development Committee.
  4. State associations are eligible to receive pre/post conference grants for a maximum of two consecutive years. After a subsequent year of ineligibility, the state association may again apply for pre/post conference grants.
Grant Program Forms
Individual Grants State Association Conference Grants
Application Application
Evaluative Report Evaluative Report
Note: Only current MPLA members are eligible to apply for Professional Development Grants (Eligibility Requirements)
Related Information


Robin Hastings
Professional Development, Chair
Northeast Kansas Library System
4317 W 6th St
Lawrence, Kansas 66049
P: 785-838-4090
Term ends: Conference 2021

Judy Kulp
Executive Secretary
14293 West Center Drive
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
P: 303.985.7795


MPLA Professional Development Committee

Professional Development Calendar
Individual Grant Application Deadline Committee Meeting Date
May 28, 2021 Jun 4, 2021
Jun 30, 202 Aug 6, 2021
Sep 24, 2021 Oct 1, 2021
Nov 26, 2021 Dec 3, 2021
State Association Grant Application Deadlines
01 February (spring conferences)
01 June (fall conferences)