Northeast Kansas Library System provides grants (or subsidies) to member libraries to support the mission and purpose of the system: to improve existing library services, and to extend service to all residents of the System through those libraries. Each type of grant has specific purposes and eligibility requirements. These grants are the largest single expenditure in the system budget and include the following programs below.

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Continuing Education Grants

  • Service Target: All libraries
  • Contact Persons: Laura DeBaun and Lisa Miller
  • Purpose and Use: Grants are provided for educational programs that are not provided directly by the Northeast Kansas Library System. Grant funds are allocated for library conferences, for college credit tuition, and for other continuing education activities.

Guidelines and Procedures

Applications for Professional Development/Continuing Education Grants may be made at any time using the following application form, and following the guidelines stated there: Professional Development/Continuing Education Grant Guidelines and Application Form.

Kansas Library Express Courier Subsidy

  • Service Target: All libraries
  • Contact: Courier Staff, Kansas Library Express Website
  • Purpose and Use: NEKLS provides subsidies for participation in Kansas Library Express, the statewide interlibrary courier service.

Guidelines and Procedures

Service 3 stops per week: Libraries pay $250, NEKLS pays for the rest

Service 5 stops per week: Libraries pay $1800, NEKLS pays for the rest (with additional reductions for libraries with budgets of less than $200,000)

NEKLS also pays all high volume surcharges for libraries shipping more than 4,000 items per year.

Mileage Reimbursement Grant

  • Service Target: All libraries with Summer Library Programs (SLPs)
  • Contact Person: Lisa Miller
  • Purpose and Use: To encourage the use of performers to enhance SLPs.

Guidelines and Procedures

Libraries should maintain records of the mileage expense claimed by summer library performers for programs presented between May 15 and August 31. At the end of the summer the library should submit a Summer Library Performer Grant Application to the NEKLS office specifying the miles claimed for each performance. NEKLS will reimburse the library at the current year’s federal rate for mileage reimbursement up to a maximum of $250.00. NEKLS will not directly reimburse performers. The application deadline is September 15.

OCLC CatExpress Copy Cataloging Subsidy

  • Service Target: Public libraries and school libraries in school districts with only one high school
  • Contact Person: Laura DeBaun
  • Purpose and Use: Affordable access to high quality cataloging data.

Guidelines and Procedures

NEKLS provides subsidized access to this source of cataloging data. The library will be able to search the extensive OCLC data base of high quality cataloging records, attach their holdings to the appropriate record, and automatically download the record into their local automation system and the Kansas Library Catalog.

Eligible libraries for up to 2,000 items annually at 50% of the OCLC fee. NEKLS will pay the remaining portion of the fee. Additional items may be cataloged on CatExpress at a higher cost. Due to the availability of free online cataloging data from other sources, libraries are encouraged to use the OCLC only as a last resort when the item can not be located in a free source.

Public Library Development Grants

  • Service Target: Eligible public libraries in counties within the System tax district.
  • Contact Person: Michael McDonald
  • Purpose and Use: The purpose of the Library Development Grants is to improve library services, and to provide financial assistance to libraries from the system tax base that would otherwise be taxed directly by those libraries.

Guidelines and Procedures

There are no restrictions on the use of the Library Development Grants provided that they are expended or encumbered by the end of the year in which the funds are received.

Accredited city and township public libraries (and district libraries with boundaries limited to a single township),  in counties within the system tax district (Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Douglas, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Leavenworth, Miami, Nemaha, and Osage counties) are eligible for Library Development Grants. The grant amount is determined by the NEKLS Public Library Accreditation level met by the library. Annual grant applications must be submitted to the Northeast Kansas Library System in order to receive Library Development Grants.

Grant Limits and restrictions

The primary source of support for library service is local tax revenue, and system grants should be viewed as a supplement to that local support. Grants to member libraries will generally not exceed the total amount of local tax funds. Local tax funds include income reported to the Kansas State Library as local government income or indirect local public support. Local tax funds may not include carry over funds, funds received from State Grants-in-Aid, LSTA grants, System Grants, or any non-tax revenue such as gifts, fees and fines.

Allocation of Library Development Grants

The formula for distribution of Library Development Grants will be determined annually by the System Executive Board. The current grant formula is:

Gateway Library $  8,640
Linking Library $12,600
Service Center I $17,400
Service Center II $21,460
Major Service Center I $25,704
Major Service Center II $33,949
Major Service Center III $56,000
Major Resource Library $91,000
District Library Grants $     500

Library Development Grants payments are distributed quarterly on the third Thursday of March, June, September and November.

To receive the Library Development Grant, a Library Development Grant application must be submitted each year to the NEKLS office.

Public Library Accreditation Program

  • Service Target: Eligible public libraries.
  • Contact Person: Michael McDonald
  • Purpose and Use: Accreditation is a requirement for grants to eligible libraries in the 11 NEKLS taxing counties. However all public libraries are welcome to apply for accreditation.

Accreditation is a requirement for grants to eligible libraries in the 11 NEKLS taxing counties. However all public libraries are welcome to apply for accreditation. Participation is entirely voluntary for those libraries not eligible for grants, but provides the opportunity to pursue the same benchmarks of library management and service as other public libraries in Northeast Kansas. Recognition of libraries that meet library development standards will be provided through accreditation plaques, logos for library web sites and other materials.

Libraries may choose the standards level at which they wish to be accredited. A chart of principal differences among standards levels, and complete application packages for each level, are provided below.

If you have any questions about the accreditation and standards program, or would like NEKLS staff to meet with you regarding the program, please contact Michael McDonald at 785-838-4090 ext. 104, or by emailing

See also

Substitute Librarian Program

  • Service Target: Public libraries
  • Contact Persons: Laura DeBaun
  • Purpose and Use: To improve and continue the education and training of library personnel.

Guidelines and Procedures

Public libraries that are NEKLS members are eligible if:

  1. The library is in a community with less than 5,000 population AND
  2. The library has no more than 2.5 FTE staff (total paid staff time is no more than 100 hours per week).

The program must be used for continuing education activities or for legislative advocacy events, such as Legislative Day, and participation in NEKLS committee meetings.  It is primarily designed for use by library directors. It cannot be used for vacation coverage, sick days, or to have an “extra” staff member.

How does it work?

Libraries are encouraged to sign up for the substitute librarian program at the beginning of the year. Money is available to allow payment for up to 12 continuing education days per library.

Libraries are responsible for finding and training (locally) their own substitute. NEKLS will provide financial support of $8.00 per hour with no benefits.  Substitute librarians can be paid in two ways:

  1.  Libraries can choose to pay the substitute directly and can request reimbursement on a Substitute Librarians reimbursement form.  Funds MUST be used for that purpose. If libraries choose to pay less, they can apply for reimbursement only for the amount actually paid.
  2. Or, a library can choose not to add the substitute to the library payroll.  NEKLS will pay these substitutes as NEKLS employees.  This requires a completed W4 form, a completed K4 form, and a completed I9 form. Timesheets should be sent to the NEKLS office by the 12th of the month to be included in that month’s NEKLS payroll.

Need help with this program?

System staff are available to help with payroll issues, or for training and other questions.  Contact Laura DeBaun for payroll questions; Jim Minges or Mickey Coalwell for all other questions.


Reimbursement checks are issued on the third Thursday of every month.  Requests for reimbursements should be sent to the system office by the second Thursday of the month.  Substitutes being paid as NEKLS employees are paid on the 15th of every month.  All hiring paperwork must be completed and time sheets need to be received by the 12th of the month to be paid in that month.