New York State Library

ARPA Library Subawards Guidelines

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has provided the New York State Library with $6,213,213 in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds through the LSTA Grants to States Program. The State Library has allocated $5,514,315 of these federal funds to New York State’s nine regional Reference and Research Library Resources Councils for collaborative regional projects that will advance digital inclusion, encourage library/museum partnerships, and expand student access to digital resources. Use of these federal funds must follow the IMLS guidelines, as stated below.

IMLS Guidelines

  1. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provides this grant support pursuant to the provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act (Public Law 117-2) and the IMLS authorization statute (20 U.S.C. §9101 et seq.).
  2. Under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), this funding will be used to help communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic, as well as to related economic and community needs through equitable approaches in digital inclusion and library services. Matching requirements for these funds are waived.

Purpose

  1. First, to support digital inclusion efforts to enable libraries to reach residents such as through internet hotspots, accessible Wi-Fi, and digital content and related resources, particularly in support of education, health, and workforce development needs. The following types of data, among others, can inform efforts to reach underserved populations:
    • Poverty/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Unemployment
    • Broadband availability;
  2. Second, to provide rapid emergency relief to libraries across the country, allowing them to safely respond to the pandemic and implement public health protocols;
  3. Third, to support library services that meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S., including costs such as personnel, technology, training, materials, supplies, equipment, and associated indirect costs; and
  4. With respect to (1), (2), or (3), reach tribal and museum partners best positioned to assist with pandemic response efforts, in addition to traditionally eligible library entities, where appropriate.

The administration of this grant and the expenditure of grant funds are subject to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards regulations (Uniform Guidance) promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget (2 C.F.R. part 200) and related IMLS guidance.

Eligibility

Each of New York State’s nine regional library councils (3Rs) is eligible to submit one application for these federal ARPA Funds. Projects must comply with the above IMLS ARPA guidelines and the additional federal and state requirements described in this document.

Regional library councils may, in turn, award funds to public library systems, school library systems, public libraries, school libraries, academic libraries, and not for profit special libraries in accordance with the requirements described in this document. To receive a subaward from a regional library council, a public library, school library, academic library or not-for-profit special library must be a member of a library system. Library systems and libraries must, in turn, follow these same guidelines and requirements, and must sign the same assurances.

Collaboration

Regional library councils are encouraged to collaborate with other libraries and library systems, museums, cultural organizations, community organizations, schools, colleges, universities, and tribal partners on projects that address the purposes described in the above IMLS ARPA guidelines.

Project Components

The regional library council’s project application will address the following three required project components:

  • Advancing digital inclusion in collaboration with public library systems and public libraries
  • Strengthening library/museum partnerships
  • Expanding student access to digital resources through school library systems

Amount of Awards

The State Library will make ARPA Funds awards to the regional library councils based on separate formulas for each of the three required project components as follows:

  • Digital Inclusion - $4,000,000 - considers the number of households in the region without digital access tools, along with a base dollar amount.
  • Library/Museum Partnerships - $964,315- considers the population served by region.
  • Digital Resources for Students - $550,000 - provides a predetermined dollar amount for each School Library System based on a percentage of State Aid funds.

Visit Regional Reference and Research Library Resources Councils (3Rs) Allocations to see the amounts allocated to each of the nine regional library councils.

The State Library has the authority to reallocate unused funds to other systems.

Tentative Timeline

  • Project activities must occur between September 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
  • Applications are due to the State Library by November 1, 2021 (tentative)
  • Application approval by the State Library will be approximately 4 to 6 weeks after receipt of all required application materials. The State Library will notify the library system by email once its application is approved.
  • Funds will be available to library systems upon receipt at the library system of the official NYSED Grant Award Notice and an approved copy of the FS-10 form from the NYSED Grants Finance Office. At that time, systems may submit to the State Library an FS-25 form requesting payment (see Payment Schedule information below). Payment requests are subject to approval by NYSED and the Division of the Budget.
  • Funds must be encumbered by the 3Rs and their sub awardees by June 30, 2022.
  • Funds must be expended by the 3Rs and their sub awardees July 31, 2022.
  • Final reports are due to the State Library by July 31, 2022.

Project Component Activities

A separate allocation will be provided for each of the three component activities.

  • Digital Inclusion – $4,000,000
  • Library/Museum Partnerships – $964,315
  • Digital Resources for Students – $550,000

For questions about eligible projects before the application is submitted please email NYSLARPA@nysed.gov.

Access to Application

The application will be available to the regional library councils in the SED Monitoring system. This is the same system used for the State Aid Application Assurances. All 3Rs directors and those they have designated with data entry privileges in SED Monitoring will have access to enter data in the system. If a system director wishes to add someone with data entry privileges, a quick guide to entitling users is located at http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/stateaid/seddas/quickguide.pdf.

While system staff may be designated for data entry, only the library system director will be able to submit the application once complete.

Application

The project application will be submitted online by the library system director. The application will include similar questions for each of the three project categories:

  • Project Contacts (two required)
  • Project Category (Digital Inclusion, Library/Museum Partnerships, Digital Resources for Students)
  • Project Title
  • Summary Description (written for the general public)
  • Target Audience(s) (describe methods used to determine target audience(s) in order to reach the unserved and underserved-required for Digital Inclusion)
  • Project Description
  • Project Budget (should represent the full amount of the system’s allocation; there will be separate budgets for each of the three project components)
  • Project Partners
  • Project Timetable
  • Project Evaluation Plan – Outputs and Outcomes
  • New York’s 2017-2022 LSTA Five-Year Plan Goal (Select one)
  • Description of How Project Meets Selected Five-Year Plan Goal

Notification of Awards

Upon State Library approval of the project application and the required assurances, the State Library will send an email to the library system project contacts and the library system director notifying the library system that the project is approved. Application approval by the State Library will be approximately 4 to 6 weeks after receipt of all required application materials.

Project Application Changes and Budget Amendments

Changes to project purposes, goals or activities as described in the project application require prior approval from the State Library.

Changes to the project budget involving an increase in any one budget category of more than 10% or $1,000, whichever is greater, require prior approval from the State Library and if approved, a budget amendment. An FS-10-A form is required, and changes must be entered in the online application. Systems should consult with the State Library before completing the amendment form or updating their online application. If the State Library approves the change staff will unsubmit the application for the library system to make changes and will prepare an FS-10-A for the system director to review, sign and return to the State Library.

Required Federal Assurances

  • 2021 Program Assurances and Certification
  • Internet Safety Certification Form
  • Must be signed by system director

Required IMLS/NYSL Attribution

All programs or products which are created or supported totally or in part under a federal ARPA subaward from IMLS, should include the following acknowledgement:

  • “[Program name or product] is supported with [or “in part with”] federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated to the New York State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).”

Payment Schedule

  • Before payments: FS-10 required
  • Interim payments up to 90% of total amount must be requested: reimbursement for past or future expenditures (FS-25 required); if for future expenditures, funds must be expended within 30 days of receipt by the system
  • Final payment: 10% (FS-10-F required) – upon approval of Final Report

Note that systems may be required to provide additional documentation on short notice related to FS-25s and FS-10-Fs. Source documents that authorize the disbursement of federal subaward funds may consist of purchase orders, contracts, time and effort records, delivery receipts, vendor invoices, travel documentation, and payment documents, including check stubs.

Expenditure of Funds

  • Expenditures of federal ARPA funds on equipment costing $5,000 or more (for an individual item) must be approved in advance by the State Library and IMLS.
  • Federal funds must be spent in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations governing this program.
  • Any income earned under this program must be properly accounted for and utilized in accordance with Federal laws and regulations.
  • Expenses already covered by another grant or award may not be requested.

Eligible/Ineligible Costs

Eligible Costs – all costs, except for Indirect Costs, must be related to project activities (also see Project Component Activities section above for more detailed examples):

  • Staff salaries and benefits (for already existing or new staff positions working on project activities)
  • Supplies and materials (internet devices, e-resources, print or digital library materials, computers, printers, furniture, office supplies etc.)
  • Contracted services (temporary services, consultants, sub awards to library systems and libraries, printing, data licenses etc.)
  • Travel (must be project related)
  • Equipment (only single items of $5,000 or more; items less than $5,000 should be entered under Supplies and Materials). Note that proposed expenditures on equipment costing $5,000 or more (for an individual item) must be approved in advance by the State Library and IMLS.
  • Indirect Costs of up to ten percent for the regional library councils for the Digital Inclusion and Library/Museum Partnership Projects components. Equipment purchases (single items of $5,000 or more) should not be included in the calculation. Also note that if a purchased service (contract or subaward) is over $25,000 only the first $25,000 of that purchase can be applied to indirect cost.

Ineligible Costs – these federal funds may not be used for:

  • expenditures not related to the above IMLS ARPA guidelines.
  • indirect costs for Digital Resources for Students component.
  • general overhead.
  • minor remodeling, construction or renovation activities.
  • paying interest on loans or for political activities.
  • paying rent.
  • general fundraising costs.
  • general advertising or public relations costs designed solely for promotional activities other than those related to the specific project.

Reporting Requirements

  • A final report will be required. Report will include narratives, final expenses, outputs and outcomes. Information will be entered online in the same system used for the application.
  • When projects are approved systems will be notified of the IMLS reporting requirements for its activities. These will include specific outputs and outcomes.
  • Final reports may be submitted at any time after the final report is available in the online system (date to be determined).

Monitoring

The State Education Department/New York State Library is responsible for monitoring the activities of the award recipients to ensure that the funds are used for authorized purposes in compliance with the appropriate program laws, regulations and grant agreements and that performance goals are achieved. Monitoring can include document reviews, telephone calls, observations as appropriate, and/or meetings. Award recipients are required to provide State Education Department/New York State Library staff and State auditors with access to records and financial statements as necessary to perform their monitoring responsibilities.

Audit Requirements

Systems must ensure that all federal ARPA funds are spent according to the IMLS and SED guidelines and must maintain records which would support that compliance in the case of an audit.

Systems must retain records that show the amount of funds by sub award, including total cost, how the sub awardee used the funds, authorizations, obligations, share of costs provided from other sources, as well as compliance with program requirements. In addition, source documents are required to support all transactions entered into the sub awardee's record keeping system.

Records Retention

Records must be kept through January 2032. Records should be kept longer if required by a local records retention policy.

Questions

Please email NYSLARPA@nysed.gov if you have any questions about the subawards, applications, etc.

Back to top

Appendix A

ARPA Guidelines

Digital Inclusion Initiative Component

For the purposes of these ARPA Guidelines, the Digital Inclusion Initiative Component refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This includes five (5) elements: 1) affordable, robust broadband internet service; 2) internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user; 3) access to digital literacy training; 4) quality technical support; and 5) applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation, and collaboration.

Plans should address at minimum three of the five areas above.

Plans will support digital inclusion efforts to enable libraries to reach residents in support of education, health, and workforce development needs.

Plans must document planned efforts to reach underserved populations. This may include areas with high poverty, communities with limited internet access (either because of limited availability or limited adoption), households without devices or internet access. It may also include:

  • historically marginalized and systemically oppressed communities,
  • people for whom English is a new language,
  • immigrants and refugees,
  • SNAP recipients,
  • people with disabilities,
  • housing insecure or homeless individuals,
  • formerly or currently incarcerated individuals,
  • the unemployed or underemployed,
  • individuals with mental health issues or learning disabilities,
  • older adults (65+),
  • LGBTQIA+ people, and/or
  • other underserved populations.

Data must be used to inform these efforts. Data resources on the State Library’s website include Achieving Digital Equity in New York: An Outline for Collaborative Change and New York's Digital Divide: Examining adoption of internet and computers for the state and its library districts. The State Library will also be providing a Digital Equity Data Map which may serve as an additional resource.

All plans must include a component that will 1) educate library staff about digital inclusion and how and why libraries can provide digital inclusion services that meet community needs and 2) train library staff in how to develop relationships with community partners to address digital inequities. The State Library, in collaboration with the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, will provide virtual training opportunities, resources and expert technical assistance for participating library leaders, staff, volunteers and community leaders.

Plans may include sub awards from the regional library council to public library systems or regional library council-level projects or a combination of the two.

Sub Awards to Public Library Systems:

Regional library councils may sub award Digital Inclusion Initiative Project funds to the public library systems in their region. Funds may be sub awarded on a competitive basis and/or by a formula as predetermined by the 3Rs. Inclusion of community partners is strongly encouraged. Collaborative projects to address local and/or regional needs are encouraged. Each lead public library system applicant is required to submit a project application, signed assurances and a final report to the 3Rs to receive these federal funds. Public library systems may in turn sub award funds to member public libraries. Each public library applicant is required to submit a project application, signed assurances and a final report to the public library system to receive these federal funds.

Regional Library Council-Level Project(s):

The 3Rs may elect to serve as the eligible lead library system for one or more regional library council-level Digital Inclusion Initiative Projects after consultation with the public library systems in the region. Such regional library council-level projects that are led by the 3Rs must include at least one public library system as a project partner. Inclusion of additional project partners, including community partners, is encouraged. Collaborative projects to address regional or statewide needs are encouraged. The 3Rs may not sub award funds to other entities for a regional library council-level project, although the 3Rs may purchase products and services from other entities. All products and services must be directly procured by the 3Rs.

Selected Examples of Possible Project Ideas:

Internet service: Could include but is not limited to sign-up support for subsidized and low-cost internet service, hotspot loan programs, WiFi access points, and vehicles equipped with roaming WiFi.

Devices: Could include tablets, laptop loan or ownership programs and telehealth equipment in private library spaces. Projects may provide devices at no cost to library patrons for them to own.

Digital literacy training: Could include the employment of library staff and/or volunteers to provide digital literacy training for the public; to serve as digital navigators; or to provide telehealth services. Digital literacy training services may also be purchased from community partners or other organizations.

Quality technical support: Could include the employment of or training of library staff and/or volunteers to assist with the configuration of devices; assist with sign up for federal broadband subsidies; creation of a digital navigator corps to assist patrons with connectivity, digital literacy and devices, at the library, at community locations, virtually or at home. Quality technical support services may also be purchased from community partners or other organizations.

Applications and online content: Could include development of WCAG-ADA compliant websites or other accessibility solutions for disability justice; or the development of online resources for people who speak languages other than English.

Other considerations: Could create, strengthen, and expand digital inclusion coalitions at regional levels; or complement what others are doing.

For questions about eligible projects before the application is submitted please email NYSLARPA@nysed.gov.

Back to top

Appendix B

Library/Museum Partnerships

The Library/Museum Partnerships initiative is intended to strengthen library/museum partnerships at the regional and/or local levels. Organizations are stronger when they work together with intention, to achieve a common goal or purpose. Plans should show how both primary project partners - libraries and museums - will be engaged in the work and how communities will benefit from the project.

Plans could focus on issues such as long-term sustainability, resilience efforts, preparing libraries and museums for future crises, establishing/reinforcing relationships between museum workers and library workers, reaching at-risk communities, and bridging the digital divide.

Plans will bridge and connect information, increase visual and material literacy, and may include activities that address objects-based learning.

Plans may include sub awards from the regional library council to eligible entities as listed below or regional library council-level projects or a combination of the two.

Sub awards: Regional library councils may award funds to public library systems and school library systems. Regional library councils may also award funds to public libraries, school libraries, academic libraries, and not-for-profit special libraries that are members of a public library system, a school library system or a regional library council. At least one eligible museum must be identified as a primary project partner (see below for the definition of eligible museum partner).

  • Funds may be sub awarded on a competitive basis and/or by a formula as predetermined by the 3Rs.
  • Inclusion of additional project partners is encouraged. Collaborative projects to address local and/or regional needs are encouraged.
  • Each lead library or library system applicant is required to submit project application, signed assurances and a final report to the 3Rs in order to receive these federal funds.
  • Lead applicant libraries and library systems may not in turn sub award funds to other entities. All project products and services must be procured directly by the lead library or library system.

Regional Library Council-Level Project(s): The 3Rs may elect to serve as the eligible lead library system for one or more regional Library/Museum Partnership Project(s). Such projects must also include at least one eligible museum as a project partner. Inclusion of additional project partners is encouraged. Collaborative projects to address regional or statewide needs are encouraged. The 3Rs may not sub award funds to other entities for a regional project. All products and services must be directly procured by the 3Rs.

Definition of Eligible Museum Partner

The primary Museum partner must be a not-for-profit institution that possesses a Regents charter, that is incorporated by the Department of State, or that was established by the Legislature. For the purposes of these ARPA Guidelines, Museums are defined as organized non-for-profit institutions, including but not limited to halls of fame, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens and arboretums, that is essentially educational or aesthetic in purpose, with professional staff, which ordinarily owns, exhibits, maintains, and/or utilizes artifacts, art, and/or specimens, including non-tangible electronic, video, digital and similar art, cares for them, and exhibits them to the public on some regular schedule. For the purposes of this ARPA funding, Museum also means a Historical society with collections, an organized not-for-profit institution, with purposes limited to a reasonable and clearly defined geographical area or to one or more specific subjects of interest, which gathers, preserves, advances or disseminates knowledge about the past through research, collections acquisition and management, preservation and/or interpretation, which carries on educational and public programs on a regular schedule, which makes its programs and resources accessible to the public, and which is appropriately and professionally staffed by paid and/or volunteer personnel who possess sufficient training and knowledge to meet the requirements of its mission and the needs of its collections. Questions about eligibility of a museum to participate as a primary project partner for this ARPA funding may be directed to NYSLARPA@nysed.gov.

Selected examples of possible Eligible Projects for the Library/Museum Partnership Component within the federal IMLS ARPA guidelines include, but are not limited to:

Projects that consider the intersection of digital and physical programs and exhibits in a pandemic-aware manner, for example:

  • Improved infrastructure: creating platforms, tools, or systems for museums and libraries to create, manage, distribute, transform, share, reuse, and access their content
  • Learning through curation: work with an audience to build their own digital exhibits using library and museum resources

Projects that address audiences that were particularly impacted by COVID-19, for example:

  • Supporting P-12 education: Collaborative library/museum education projects that engage directly with P-12 teachers and students, such as projects focusing on next generation science standards
  • Career readiness: Career exploration opportunities for teens at libraries and museums, with a focus on STEAM
  • Ensuring that all communities are represented: All programming should include a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access component

Projects that explore new modalities for existing programs, for example:

  • Bring collections into communities: Make a circulating kit from a popular program or exhibit
  • Creative outreach: Find ways to take museum and library work outside, including pop-up festivals in the community showcasing libraries and museums

For questions about eligible projects before the application is submitted please email NYSLARPA@nysed.gov.

Back to top

Appendix C

Digital Resources for Students

School Library System (SLS) Digital Resources for Students projects will enhance access to digital resources for students. Project activities may include the purchase of new digital resources such as e-books, e-audio books, e-magazines, databases, streaming video, or other digital resources that will enhance student learning. Project purchases that align with NYSED’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Framework are encouraged. Collaborative projects to address regional and/or statewide needs are also encouraged.

This project component includes predetermined formula allocations from the regional library councils (3Rs) to the school library systems (SLS) in the region. A list of SLS allocation amounts will be provided by the State Library to each regional library council. Each SLS is required to submit a project application, signed assurances and a final report to the regional library council to receive these federal funds.

For questions about eligible projects before the application is submitted please email NYSLARPA@nysed.gov.

Back to top
Last Updated: September 29, 2021