Grant: Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries and Museums
Agency: Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Deadline: February 1, 2013
Description: The Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries and Museums program is a special IMLS funding opportunity that encourages libraries, archives and museums to challenge existing assumptions about how they operate and the services they provide. These small grants support the deployment, testing and evaluation of promising and groundbreaking new tools, products, services or organizational practices. Applicants may propose activities or approaches that involve risk, as long as the risk is balanced by significant potential for improvement in the ways cultural heritage institutions serve their communities.
Successful proposals will address problems, challenges or needs of broad relevance to libraries, archives and/or museums, will test innovative responses to these problems and will make the findings of these tests widely and openly accessible. To maximize the benefit of federal investments, the Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries and Museums program will fund projects with the following characteristics:
Broad Potential Impact – Applicants should identify a specific problem or need that is important to many libraries, archives and/or museums, and propose a testable and measurable solution to the problem. Proposals must demonstrate a thorough understanding of current issues and practices in the project’s focus area and discuss the project’s potential impact within libraries, archives and/or museums. Proposed innovations should be widely adoptable or adaptable.
Significant Innovation – The proposed solution to the identified problem must offer strong potential for non-incremental, significant advancement in the operation of libraries, archives and/or museums. Applicants must explain how the proposed activity differs from current practices or exploits an unexplored opportunity and the potential benefit to be gained by this innovation.