Cal Humanities

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

Library Innovation Lab Grants

A collage of six photos representing Library Innovation Lab programs.

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, 2023 March 1, 2023 April 1, 2023-December 31, 2023
         Click to Download 2022 flyer

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.

The 2022 LIL deadline has passed. New guidelines will be posted here in January 2023. 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

Images (left to right): Library Innovation Lab programs at Mill Valley Public Library, Sunnyvale Public Library, Santa Cruz Public Library, San Luis Obispo Public Library, Oakland Public Library Golden Gate Branch, Los Angeles Public Library.