California Public Library Staff Education Program

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About the Program

PLSEP is a tuition reimbursement program developed by the California State Library. The goal of this program is to support the development of professional librarians by providing current library staff with tuition reimbursement for courses required for an MLIS degree.

If you received a grant last year, FY 19–20 instructions and reporting forms, including the student progress report form, are located here: Manage Your Grant

Please note that the California State Library is also supporting a pilot project for library staff seeking bachelor's degrees through the online Working Scholars program. That program is closed to new applicants. Questions? Email Beverly Schwartzberg.

2020–2021 Public Library Staff Education Program

This opportunity is now closed.

How the Program Works

Employees of public libraries and county law libraries are eligible to apply for tuition reimbursement for their graduate coursework toward an MLIS degree at an ALA-accredited library school. Reimbursement is available for Summer 2020 – Spring 2021 classes. This program is competitive; not every applicant will be selected to receive funding. The program includes a waiting list, and applicants who are not selected might learn later in the year that funds are available for them.


Applicants must be currently enrolled in an ALA-accredited library school and have completed some courses toward their MLS degree prior to the 2020–2021 school year.

Funding is available to current library staff, as well as to those who were recently employed but are affected by COVID-19 pandemic staff changes.

Applications are due July 30, 2020.

All applicants will be notified by one of the California cooperative library systems if they are selected to receive reimbursement funding. Those not selected will also receive appropriate notification.

This is a tuition reimbursement opportunity. If selected to receive reimbursement funding, applicants must first pay for courses, then complete courses with a grade of B- or better. Once courses have been completed, applicants must provide proof of tuition fees paid and a copy of grades received to the cooperative library system. When final reimbursement is requested, students must complete final narrative report and submit a report on their progress completed by their supervisor or director. The System will then issue the final reimbursement directly to the student.

What PLSEP Funds Cover

Individuals can receive reimbursement for library school course fees, not to exceed $7,500 per grant year. No individual shall receive reimbursement for more than five grant years under this program.

Students who are receiving course reimbursement from an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant can only receive PLSEP reimbursement for those courses not previously reimbursed from the Laura Bush grant.

What PLSEP Funds Do Not Cover

Books, student union and association fees, lab fees, health fees, transcript fees, and parking are not reimbursed under this program.



Application Questions

Contact Lena Pham, Library Programs Consultant, at