Applications Open for Advancing Racial Equity Collection Development Grants 

Funds support the addition of materials addressing racial injustice to libraries.

Libraries, schools, universities and nonprofit organizations are invited to apply to Indiana Humanities for funds to enhance their circulating collections by adding digital or physical resources that feature diverse perspectives and/or address race-related topics. 

The Advancing Racial Equity Collection Development grants were first offered in 2020. Following the murder of George Floyd and ensuing protests, libraries in Indiana and across the country saw an increased demand for books and resources about racial equity and race-related topics. This surge in demand made it difficult for public libraries to meet the needs of their communities. Many libraries had few, if any, books and resources on these topics and expressed a need for additional funding to support their communities.  

In 2020 and 2021, Lilly Endowment approved Indiana Humanities’ requests for funding to create a grant program for libraries across Indiana to purchase materials about racial injustice and race-related topics from a list of more than 400 titles curated by librarians from across the state with input from Indiana humanities scholars.

This special grant program is being offered again in 2024. 

The grants of up to $1,000 each can be used to add digital or physical resources from the curated list — including books, films or other materials — to a library’s collection. “Libraries bridge gaps in our community as an essential source for knowledge and connection — we’re happy to do our part to expand their collections in this important subject area,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We’re grateful to Lilly Endowment for providing this support to Indiana’s libraries and the Hoosiers who count on them.”

Libraries, including those within prisons, community centers and schools, are encouraged to apply. Other Indiana tax-exempt organizations, such as senior citizens centers or community centers, may apply but must be able to demonstrate in their application how materials will circulate for free within their communities. These funds may not be used to purchase books or other materials for one-time giveaways but instead should be for multiple users over time.

Applications are open and are due April 19, 2024, by 5pm EST. Grantees will be notified by May 3, 2024. Up to 150 grants will be awarded.