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.

Continuing Education Grants

  • Service Target: All libraries
  • Contact: Megan Mentzer
  • 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. Review the Continuing Education Grant Guidelines PDF for eligibility details.

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: Continuing Education Grant Form

Kansas Library Express Courier Subsidy

  • Service Target: All libraries
  • Contact: Courier Staff
  • Website: 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: Mike McDonald
  • 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.

Substitute Librarian Program

  • Service Target: Public libraries
  • Contact: Mike McDonald
  • 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 (download the pdf). 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 $10.00 per hour with no benefits. Libraries 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.


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.