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New Hampshire State Library

For Librarians-American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) through IMLS

Subgrant Round 1 Grant Application (Coming Soon!)

The New Hampshire State Library will receive $2,297,692.00 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The ARPA funds will be disbursed to the NH State Library through the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) Grants to States program.

IMLS ARPA Spending Priorities

This funding is to be used by September 30, 2022, to help libraries and their communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic, as well as to related economic and community needs through equitable approaches. Spending priorities are as follows:

  1. First, to support digital inclusion efforts to enable libraries to reach residents such as through internet hotspots, accessible Wi-Fi, and digital content and related resources, particularly in support of education, health, and workforce development needs. The following types of data, among others, can inform efforts to reach underserved populations:
    • Poverty/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Unemployment
    • Broadband availability;
  2. Second, to provide rapid emergency relief to libraries across the country, allowing them to safely respond to the pandemic and implement public health protocols;
  3. Third, to support library services that meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S., including costs such as personnel, technology, training, materials, supplies, equipment, and associated indirect costs; and
  4. With respect to (1), (2), or (3), reach tribal and museum partners best positioned to assist with pandemic response efforts, in addition to traditionally eligible library entities, where appropriate.

These funds may NOT be spent on any construction-related projects.

Planned Distribution of Funds

New Hampshire State Library will use these funds to provide both sub-grants to NH public libraries, and more statewide services. Guidelines and instructions to apply for subgrants will be available over the next few weeks. If your library intends to apply for any subgrants, please make sure to have obtained a DUNS number or a SAM.gov registration – this information will be required on all subgrant applications per IMLS. To obtain a DUNS number, please apply through https://www.dnb.com/duns-number/get-a-duns.html or calling 1-844-235-0039. Note that a SAM.gov registration will be required by IMLS beginning on April 1, 2022.

Given the State of New Hampshire governance structure that includes both a Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee, and Governor & Council, a timeline about the first distribution of monies via a subgrant program cannot be determined at this time due to the state approvals needed for fund expenditure. We are hopeful that we will be able to provide that information soon.

First round of ARPA subgrants to NH Public Libraries

The first round of subgrants for the American Rescue Plan Act will be a formula program that provides monies to every public library in NH. This formula includes a $1,000 base amount, an amount based on the population served by that library (using the 2019 population estimates by the New Hampshire Office of Strategic Initiatives), and potentially $1,675 if the library is located within one of the five counties that has a Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates from 2019 that is equal to or greater than 9% of the population at or below poverty level. Please view this pdf spreadsheet that details what every public library in NH can receive in this first subgrant round.

Note that these funds will still require the receiving library to submit an application (so that we can verify that the funds will be used for the purposes outlined in the IMLS grant parameters), a grant agreement, and a final report detailing how the funds were actually spent. A DUNS number or SAM.gov registration will be required for the application. We are still going through the state’s approval process to accept and expend these funds. We hope that checks for this first round of formula subgrants will be cut in June, but it could be July or August. A second, competitive grant round is planned for later this year, which would allow for greater amounts of money to be requested. More information about this second round will be forthcoming.

First Round of ARPA Subgrants Acrobat Symbol icon

View the NH State Library's goals as listed in 5-Year plan and ARPA federal grant priorities in the PDF document below. These will be the drop-down options on the grant application. Please review this document to determine the focus of your grant project.

Resources for Grant Applicants

Note that these links below are for librarians to understand what is being agreed to in the grant application and the associated certifications and assurances:


New Hampshire public library directors may contact either the State Librarian or the Assistant State Librarian with input and questions/concerns:

Michael York, State Librarian: 603-271-2397; michael.c.york@dncr.nh.gov

Lori Fisher, Assistant State Librarian: 603-271-2393; lori.a.fisher@dncr.nh.gov

Updated 5/10/2021

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