How To Apply

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      Check Eligibility

      Check the requirements list below to see if your school is eligible.

      Check Your Eligibility
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      Our application process is easy and entirely online.  Sign up at the Apply Now button to access the application.

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Eligibility Requirements

The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries provides funds to our Nation’s neediest schools so that they can extend, update, and diversify the book and print collections in their libraries with the goal of encouraging students to develop a love of reading and learning.

In order to be eligible, a paid professional must be designated by the school administration as responsible for the collection, care, and use of the materials housed in the school library. The grant award may be used only for books, periodicals, eBooks, reference materials, and magazine/newspaper subscriptions. More than one school in a district/diocese/CMO may apply for the grant, however, each school must submit their own application.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. May more than one school in a district apply?

    Yes. Library grants are awarded to individual schools and not to districts.

  2. What is a “librarian” for purposes of this application?

    Ideally a certified school librarian, but not required.

  3. May a school apply if it does not have a certificated librarian?

    Yes. The person responsible for the library does not necessarily have to be a certificated librarian, but the person must be an employee of the school and/or district and meet the definition of “librarian” found above.

  4. Must the application be written by a school employee?

    No, anyone may write an application (i.e. a certificated librarian, administrator, teacher, grant writer, paraprofessional, parent, or volunteer).

  5. What is a “book” for purposes of this application?

    A “book” is a hardbound print or a Braille volume, an audio-book or an e-book to be added to either the circulating or reference section of the school library collection.  Magazine/serial copies or subscriptions and e-magazine subscriptions may be purchased with grant funds.  Not eligible to be purchased with library grant funds: videos or DVDs, any student/teacher guide to the book (in print or other media), a test/quiz/workbook, exercise book or commentary on the book, any software related to the book, or electronic book readers.

  6. May funds be used to purchase shelving, furniture, equipment, staffing, software, videos, guides, tests or exams, or other library media center items?

    No. Funds from the Laura Bush Foundation may be used only to purchase print or Braille volumes, audio-books, e-books, or magazine/serial/e-magazine subscriptions.

  7. How does an individual school obtain Free/Reduced Lunch (FRL) information?

    This information should be available from the school’s office or the district’s administration office. It can also be searched using the following website: National Center for Education Statistics.

  8. Will the Laura Bush Foundation help with ascertaining a school’s Free/Reduced Lunch (FRL) percentages?

    No, this information should be readily available from the principal or school district.  If not, consult the following website:

  9. Is a Laura Bush Foundation Grant considered a federal grant?

    No. The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries is a restricted fund of the George W. Bush Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. It is supported by charitable contributions.

  10. The county library serves as the school library. Is the school eligible to apply?

    Yes. However, it must be clearly documented that the county library is the sole library for the school, how the school and the library coordinate and support school programs and curriculum, and how access to the materials by the students is facilitated and guaranteed.

  11. May a library submit more than one application if it serves more than one constituency? For example, if the library serves both a middle school and a high school?

    No. Each school library, regardless of the variety of constituents it serves, is limited to one application per year.

  12. May Accelerated Reader tests, other AR materials, or similar materials for other reading support programs be purchased with grant funds?

    No. All grant dollars are to be spent for books, e-books or magazines/serials/e-magazines in print, Braille or audio form. The definition of a “book” is provided in the Frequently Asked Questions. Grant funds are not to be used for the purchase of quizzes, tests, study guides, teacher guides, commentaries on a book, e-book readers, or any kind of hardware/software. 

  13. May the funds be used to purchase DVD movie versions of books? (i.e. Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Rings, Frankenstein, Lonesome Dove, The Wizard of Oz, etc?)

    No, funds from the Laura Bush Foundation may be used only to purchase print or Braille volumes, audio-books, e-books, magazines/serials/e-magazines. Please see the definition of a “book” provided in the Frequently Asked Questions.

  14. May the principal’s approval/certification be included after the application is submitted?

    No, approval from the principal must be included in the grant application at the time of submission.  

  15. May applications be submitted via email, mail or fax?

    No, all applications must be submitted via the on-line application form.  

  16. Can a draft/pending application be saved and submitted at a later date?

    Yes, you have the option to save your pending application once an account is created.  Only complete applications will be considered.