One month!

That’s how long our member libraries (all of them, folks: school, special, academic, and public) have left to come up with an innovative idea and apply for funding. Think of it like Shark TankĀ® but with a library spin. You pitch your idea, in the form of, well, a Google FormĀ®, send in some supporting documents (think budget or estimates), and then if “The Sharks” think you have one of the most innovative ideas proposed, you could be funded in October.

Here’s the overview of this NEKLS 2023 Competitive Grant opportunity:

  • Maybe you’re a school librarian, and you have a great idea for changing up how you get kiddos to discover new interests.
  • You might be new to academia, fresh out of library school, and you have unique insights into how to engage with first year students.
  • Through your work in public libraries you have seen how you aren’t reaching a demographic in the building, so the next step is to bring the library to them at the ________.

The sky is the limit, but keep in mind the funding maxes out at $5K, so if your idea is really big, perhaps you need to look at funding first steps. OR, even better, how can you work with partnerships to get to your goal? Let me repeat the partnerships part: innovative ideas that include partnerships are really going to get these Shark’s attention, it’s like blood in the water to these people, they absolutely crave community partnerships.

The deadline is September 22, and the other 2023 Competitive Grants close in the first part of September, you can learn more about all of the opportunies here:

Need help brainstorming an idea, or want to talk about the other grant opportunities? Call or email Dan,, 785-838-4090.

  • Shark Tank is registered Trademark of Sony Pictures Television Inc.
  • Featured Image Credit: INNOVATE, by KGSImaging (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)