Project Goals

Our goals are to support the development of innovative and creative programs and services for all ages, address the needs of libraries in underserved communities, and provide a variety of programming and service models for the library community to learn from and replicate.

We invited the California library community to apply for funds to support the purchase of: cutting-edge technology that helps libraries provide innovative services and programming that fulfills the potential of their broadband connections; functional hardware and software that allows libraries to use their new broadband connections effectively; and technology that enables libraries to make the best use of their non-broadband Internet connections.

The application period has closed. 45 library jurisdictions submitted applications and funds were awarded to 38 applicants. Project funds will support the purchase of a variety of technologies in city, county, and special district libraries in rural, suburban, and urban communities.

People in library

This project is supported with California Library Services Board funding. The project's fiscal agent is the Southern California Library Cooperative.

  • The Libraries Illuminated project is intended to help libraries make purchases that will leverage and fulfill the potential of their Internet connections. Grant funds should be spent on technology and not on the programs that the technology will support; technology purchased must maximize benefits to patrons as they access the library's Internet connection.
  • Funds may not be used to help libraries connect to broadband. The California State Library provides Technology Improvement Grants for that purpose through the Lighting Up Libraries broadband project.
  • Project funds may be used to upgrade technology if the applicant can demonstrate that the upgrade helps them leverage and fulfill the potential of their Internet connections.
  • Successful applicants are required to contribute matching funds and resources to the project and the match must be included in the project budget.
  • The match should be a combination of cash and in-kind contributions and may come from the applicant libraries and/or project partners and/or other sources.
  • The match may include contributions to the programs that the technology will support.
  • The minimum level of match required is determined by each library jurisdiction's Local Income Per Capita (LIPC) level:
    – LIPC Level 1: a minimum of 25%
    – LIPC Level 2: a minimum of 35%
    – LIPC Level 3: a minimum of 50%
  • Information about libraries' LIPC levels is available on the project website.
  • If successful applicants are unable to provide a match for the funds they are awarded, those funds must be returned to the Southern California Library Cooperative.
  • Technology Improvement Grant funds, costs associated with connecting to broadband, and other California Library Services Act funds may not form part of the match.
  • Examples of ways to contribute matching funds and resources include:
    – donations of funds, time, or other resources from friends groups, library foundations, local businesses, and philanthropic agencies
    – local, state, or federal grant funds
    – crowdsourcing funds
    – staff or volunteer time
    – non-tech program supplies
  • The project requires grantees to use Project Outcome survey tools to evaluate the impact of at least three programs provided for their communities with the new technology.
  • Survey tools are made available to participating libraries.
  • The State Library and Project Outcome are providing an informational webinar, resources, and support to help libraries implement Project Outcome survey tools.
September 15, 2017: "Technology" is defined here as any hardware, software, or equipment that will help your library maximize benefits to patrons as they access new high-speed Internet connections or (if your library is not connected to broadband) access the Internet.
October 2017: Applications assessed by project staff and advisory group members.
October 31, 2017: Applicants notified of the results of their applications.
Nov & Dec 2017: Funds issued to successful applicants within two weeks of the library submitting a funding request form to the Southern California Library Cooperative.
March 31, 2018: First brief narrative and financial reports due to the Southern California Library Cooperative (reporting period: Start of project - February 28, 2018).
September 30, 2018: Second brief narrative and financial reports due to the Southern California Library Cooperative (reporting period: March 1 - August 31, 2018).
September 30, 2018: Unexpended and unencumbered funds must be returned to the Southern California Library Cooperative.
December 31, 2018: Programs must be completed.
January 31, 2019: Final narrative and financial reports are due to the Southern California Library Cooperative (reporting period: Start of project - December 31, 2018).
  • "Technology" is defined here as any hardware, software, or equipment that will help your library maximize benefits to patrons as they access new high-speed Internet connections or (if your library is not connected to broadband) access the Internet.
  • "Programs" is used to refer to any programs or services provided using your new technology.
  • "Jurisdiction" means a county library, city and county library, city library, or library district.
  • "Outlets" includes main libraries, branch libraries, library stations, and bookmobiles.
  • The California Library Services Board has provided $1M in California Library Services Act funding to support this project. Funds were divided between as many applicants as possible; we were unable to guarantee funding to all applicants.
  • Funds were divided between libraries requesting different types of technology and between different types of libraries, e.g. rural, suburban, and urban; city, county, and special district; lower- and higher-resourced.
  • Applications were reviewed by project staff and the Libraries Illuminated Advisory Group.
  • Applicants are encouraged to disseminate the impact of their new technologies and related programs to the field and related professional communities through publications and conference presentations.
  • If you have any questions, please contact Natalie Cole, Library Programs Consultant, California State Library, at Natalie.Cole@library.ca.gov or Diane Satchwell, Executive Director, Southern California Library Cooperative, at dsatchwell@socallibraries.org

Thank you very much to the Libraries Illuminated project advisors:

Megan Anderson, San Francisco Public Library
Erin Berman, San Jose Public Library
Susan Broman, Los Angeles Public Library
Wess Garcia, Rancho Cucamonga Public Library
Jarrid Keller, Sacramento Public Library
Jasmin LoBasso, Kern County Library
Paula MacKinnon, Califa
Erwin Magbanua, San Diego Public Library
Hillary Theyer, Torrance Public Library
Patty Wong, Santa Monica Public Library