Friends of the Libraries Staff Awards

Staff development grant fund

In 2003, the Board of the Friends of the University Libraries established the Library Staff Development Fund as a means of providing support to Libraries staff to cover some expenses for activities related to professional development.

Supported activities may be research-oriented, job-oriented, pedagogical, or creative. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Attending professional meetings, conferences, Webinars, workshops (registration, travel, lodging)
  • Purchasing books, software, and audiovisual equipment and materials
  • Coordinating an exhibit, guest speaker, program or performance
  • Setting up extramural programs and demonstrations in K-12 schools

The grants

Generally, grants of up to $400 may be awarded, with a maximum of $2,000 available during a fiscal year. Higher amounts may be considered if funds are available.

Grants must be used within twelve months of receipt. Grants are not available for projects or activities that have already been completed.

In awarding grants, the Friends must comply with all Libraries and University guidelines regarding travel and reimbursement.

Grant recipients shall submit a brief written report (1-2 pages) to the Friends board within sixty (60) days after completing the project or activity. The report should describe and document the project or activity and how it was implemented or completed. A “brown bag lunch” is suggested, but not required, as a means of informing the entire library staff about the project/activity.

Eligibility and application

All staff of the WMU Libraries may apply, either as individuals or in small collaborative groups.

Applications may be made at any time, but should be submitted at least four weeks before the funds are needed. It is suggested that applicants also seek matching or accompanying grants/funds from sources such as the University Libraries Staff Association or the Dean of Libraries.

The supervisor’s signature is required in order to assure mutual communication and to ensure that the employee and supervisor are in agreement about any use of work time and/or library facilities required for the project or activity.

Application form

A description of the proposed project or activity must be submitted with the application. This should be 2-3 double-spaced pages in length and include the following.

  1. Describe your project/activity and its purpose, and how you and the Libraries will benefit from it. Be specific.
  2. When do you anticipate completing the project/activity?
  3. What costs do you anticipate? Include specific information such as price quotations from vendors for equipment or materials, or an itemized budget for a program, speaker, performance, or exhibit. If travel is proposed—e.g., to a workshop or conference—list the anticipated costs.
  4. Include any useful supporting documents—e.g., the prospectus for a conference; evidence of previous work along the lines of the proposal.

Download application form

Proposal review and criteria

Applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of two representatives from the Friends board, chosen by the board’s president, and one representative from the University Libraries Staff Association (ULSA).

It is the Friends’ intent to award grants to as many staff as feasible over a period of several years. Therefore, the committee will take into account any previous grants awarded to an applicant.

Criteria for Selection: Each proposal will be considered on its own merits. Applicants should keep the following points in mind:

  1. Relevance of the proposal to the applicant’s professional work, as well as the ways in which the project or activity might expand the applicant’s professional abilities and competencies.
  2. The proposal’s “doability,” i.e., its practicality.
  3. Thoughtfulness and originality of the proposal (especially significant in proposals involving exhibits, performances, and programs).
  4. Anticipation of when and how the project or activity will be completed.