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Library Innovation Lab Grants

Cupertino Branch/Santa Clara County Library, Eastside Branch/Santa Barbara Public Library, Irvine-University Branch/Orange County Public Libraries

Library Innovation Lab: Exploring New Ways of Engaging Immigrant Communities through Public Humanities Programming

Now entering its fifth year, our Library Innovation Lab (LIL) program supports the design and delivery of responsive and relevant public humanities programming in California’s public libraries.

Application Opens Application Deadline Grant Period
January 1, 2022 March 1, 2022 April 1, 2022-December 31, 2022
A colorful flyer with descriptions of the Library Innovation Lab program and a couple of photos.
Click for Downloadable PDF

The program provides a nine-month practice-based professional development experience (and cash grants of up to $5,000) to ten participating library programmers each year. To date, 52 California libraries from across the state have participated in the program which aims to provide welcoming experiences for immigrants and foster more inclusive communities.

Each year a cohort of library “innovators” researches, designs, implements and assesses a small-scale, short-term public humanities project at their library. Working in a collaborative learning environment that combines virtual group meetings with individual advising, participants will acquire new skills and knowledge in programming and project management, build confidence and develop capacity in working with immigrants and other target audiences. Creativity and imagination are exercised through experimentation with new programming approaches.

See a list of projects developed by Library Innovation Lab participants. 

In 2020, LIL was recognized for outstanding contributions to public humanities with a Schwartz Prize, an annual honors program of the Federation of State Humanities Councils.

Deadline March 1, 2022. Information from the previous round is provided below for reference. 

Grantees, please find information in the Grant Portal Guidebook.

For more information, contact Project & Evaluation Director, Felicia Kelley at fkelley@calhum.org.