New Jersey Libraries - Ready for Anything, 2021-2022

New Jersey Libraries - Ready for Anything, 2021-2022

Tough, forward-thinking, and good in a crisis - New Jersey's libraries have proven time and again just how agile they can be when it comes to helping their communities react to the unexpected. Now, LibraryLinkNJ is pleased to offer a grant opportunity that will allow our member institutions to prepare for their next great challenge. A generous donation from EBSCO Information Services will fund this FY22 mini-grant program, designed to help libraries plan for even the most difficult of circumstances. Harness your library's ingenuity, creativity, and strength as we work together to get ready for anything.


Goal: Help libraries respond strategically to the challenges and opportunities they face.


  • Support member institutions as they navigate the new normal following the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Assist member institutions as they prepare for future out-of-the-ordinary challenges
  • Foster a culture of preparedness and resiliency among New Jersey's multi-type libraries
  • Challenge libraries to examine the plans and procedures in place regarding response to emergency and crisis situations, whether within their institution or as a function of their service to their communities

Measures of Success:

  • Multi-type New Jersey libraries are able to launch initiatives that leave themselves or their communities better prepared for future challenges
  • Initiatives which receive funding are in response to situations which have a reasonable, demonstrable likelihood of impacting the contract library or the community it serves
  • Contract libraries promote and document response and impact

[ back to top ]

Introduction and Project Rationale

The unprecedented events of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have presented unique, often overwhelming challenges to the New Jersey library community. While many of our libraries are still dealing with the changes and challenges wrought by the pandemic, what has already become clear is that New Jersey libraries proved themselves to be agile, resilient, and essential in the face of the extraordinary stresses and struggles of this crisis.

Yet COVID-19 is hardly the first crisis situation to which our libraries have had to respond - and it certainly won't be the last. New Jersey libraries have had to reevaluate, reinvent, and occasionally even rebuild in the face of an increasing number of unexpected challenges.

It's never been more apparent, therefore, that libraries need to be prepared.

That's why LibraryLinkNJ is proud to announce a FY2022 mini-grant program designed to assist New Jersey libraries as they anticipate and prepare for their next big challenge. We invite member libraries of all types to examine their current practices and offerings, look ahead at what may be the next situation to significantly impact their library or community, and create a plan to help get ready for it.

No match is required. We're offering a straight subsidy of between $1,000 and $5,000 to fund initiatives in member libraries of all types.

Application materials will be available on this page beginning Friday, August 13th, 2021.

[ back to top ]

Project Description

Submit any questions by email to Darby Malvey, darby [at]

Timeline, Round 1

Project Launch: August 13, 2021
Application Deadline: September 30, 2021
Award Notification Date: October 26, 2021
Project Completion Deadline: April 26, 2022
Participant Project Report Date: May 10, 2022


Timeline, Round 2

Project Launch: April 13, 2022
Applicant Interest Deadline: April 29, 2022
Award Notification Date: May 9, 2022
Project Completion Deadline: December 1, 2022
Participant Project Report Date: December 9, 2022


Round 1

LibraryLinkNJ $50,000 (funding donated by EBSCO Information Services)

Round 2

  LibraryLinkNJ         $50,000 (funding provided by LibraryLinkNJ)

LibraryLinkNJ and its services are funded by the New Jersey State Library, which is responsible for the coordination, promotion and funding of the New Jersey Library Network.

[ back to top ]

Contract Awards, Round 1

LibraryLinkNJ is pleased to announce that, as part of Round 1 of the “New Jersey Libraries: Ready for Anything Mini-Grants” program, 12 New Jersey libraries have accepted contract awards to fund valuable, vital projects that help their communities prepare for the next great challenge. With 29 applicants requesting a total of more than $118,000, this was a competitive process that culminated in the awarding of a total of $50,312, made possible by funding from EBSCO Information Services and LibraryLinkNJ.

The following Libraries received awards for their projects:

Library Project Title Grant
Caldwell Public Library Reimagining Library Service in Unprecedented Times $4,873
The “Reimagining Library Services” project will allow library staff to keep select services running even when the library building itself is physically inaccessible to patrons. Purchase of a portable printer and laptops configured with a secure connection to the library's files, consortium network,and online circulation system will allow for continued circulation and e-resources, while an outdoor PA system, amplifier, and wireless microphone will provide the opportunity for outdoor programming and events.
Cherry Hill Public Library Cherry Hill Community Resilience: Sheltering in Place During Emergencies and Natural Disasters $1,014
The “Sheltering in Place” initiative will follow the provisioning and supplies recommended in The Librarians Disaster Planning and Community Resiliency Guidebook by the NJ State Library to prepare for sheltering in place events caused by natural disasters, active shooter situations, or other emergencies that require staff and patrons to shelter within the library building.
Glen Ridge Public Library Home Emergency Lending Program (H.E.L.P) $3,788
H.E.L.P will build upon GRPL's existing Library of Things to provide emergency equipment to patrons for check-out in times of need. Items include battery packs, rechargeable lanterns, utility fans, dehumidifiers, and more, which will afford patrons access to critical items when they are needed most.
Gloucester County Library System, Swedesboro Branch ESL Tutoring at the Library! $4500
“ESL Tutoring at the Library!” will expand upon an existing partnership between the library and NJ Literacy with the purchase of technology and equipment to provide high-quality, hybrid ESL tutoring sessions to patrons as they move forward through the current pandemic and into the post-pandemic era.
Hunterdon County Library Resiliency with Green Energy: Solar Device Charging Canopy $4,994
The “Resiliency with Green Energy” initiative will add a solar powered device charging canopy to the library’s existing, newly created WiFi park. The solar powered canopy will allow users access to on-demand device charging, even in the event of a power outage.
Middletown Township Public Library Contactless Book Pick-up 24/7 $2,797.50
The project will expand an existing locker system that allows patrons to pick up holds 24/7 utilizing the library's mobile app and holds system. Additional lockers purchased using “Ready for Anything” grant funds will also pilot a partnership with the municipality allowing for the 24/7 pickup of certain documents, records, licenses, and the like.
North Bergen Public Library Emergency Power in North Bergen $5,000
“Emergency Power in North Bergen” will allow for the purchase of an emergency generator to provide power to select parts of the North Bergen Public Library during power outage emergencies.
Parsippany Troy Hills Library, Lake Hiawatha Branch Chromebooks To-Go at the Lake Hiawatha Branch $3,354
The “Chromebooks To-Go” program will make Chromebooks and Wi-Fi hotspots available for patrons to borrow in order to increase community access to devices and the internet.
Princeton Public Library Power Up Princeton $5,000
“Power Up Princeton” will allow for the purchase of portable power stations and crank radios to be available for patrons during power outage emergencies. The project will also feature emergency preparedness disaster planning education for both library staff and the public.
Red Bank Public Library Telehealth Booth $5,000
The project will feature installation of a telehealth booth designed to provide patrons with a private, well-equipped space in which to conduct telehealth appointments and virtual meetings. While the primary focus and partnerships will be on telehealth, the booth can also be utilized for similar patron needs - including virtual job interviews and meetings.
Rosa International Middle School, Cherry Hill Public School District The Mindful Library $5,000
“The Mindful Library” will create both indoor and outdoor library spaces focused on mindfulness, stress relief, and relaxation to benefit the entire school community. Elements will include a print collection of mindfulness and mental health materials as well as seating and calming elements. The space will expand upon existing mindfulness exercises hosted by the library in the 2020/2021 school year.
West Milford Township Public Library Computer Lab on the Go $5,000
“Computer Lab on the Go” will create a classroom on a cart, which can be used to bring classes on a variety of topics to venues throughout the community. Patrons will no longer have to be able to visit the physical library space to benefit from trainings, courses, and staff expertise.

Contract Awards, Round 2

LibraryLinkNJ is pleased to announce that, as part of Round 2 of the “New Jersey Libraries: Ready for Anything Mini-Grants” program, 12 New Jersey libraries have accepted contract awards to fund valuable, vital projects that help their communities prepare for the next great challenge. The Round 2 contract award recipients were selected from the remaining applicants from Round 1. This was a competitive process that culminated in the awarding of a total of $43,609.82, made possible by funding from LibraryLinkNJ.

The following Libraries received awards for their projects:

Library Project Title Grant
Joint Free Public Library of the Chathams Wellness Initiative $5,000
This four-part program will provide individual counseling, support groups, stress relief and wellness classes, and an expanded collection of materials related to those topics, all available in the easily accessible safe space of the public library.
Maurice M. Pine Free Public Library Preparing Our Community for Weather-Related Disasters $5,000
The contract award funded a series of programs for the community on how to prepare for and respond to weather-related disasters, as well as providing weather-band radios to the public, which can be utilized in the event of a weather-related emergency.
Long Hill Township Public Library Power Forward $2,314
The Long Hill Township Public Library used grant funds to purchase outdoor tables, chairs, umbrellas and umbrella stands, which will be used to provide patrons with outdoor work places, useful during the pandemic and beyond. The library also purchased long-life lanterns and emergency all weather radios, which will be made available for patrons to borrow.
Waldwick Public Library Heart-Start Smart $2.271
The “Heart-Start Smart” initiative brought life-saving CPR, AED, and first-aid training to the Waldwick library staff, and allowed them to supplement the library’s existing AED with pediatric pads so that library staff can be ready for any emergency. 
Wharton Public Library Behavioral and Medical Emergency Planning and Preparation $5,000
This project will encompass training and the purchase of equipment for use when the library’s staff is called upon to respond to patron’s behavioral or medical crisis.
Mountain Lakes Public Library Bridging Climate-Caused & COVID-Related Digital Gaps in Our Community $5,000
The contract award funds were used to address the every-growing need for reliable WiFi and technology access. Purchases were made to reinforce and expand the library’s existing WiFi as well as to provide loanable WiFi hotspots for patrons to take home.
Elizabeth Public Library Solar Charger for Library Grounds $1,149
Elizabeth Public Library’s purchase of a solar charger for their library grounds seeks to provide constant access to power, regardless of whether the library building is open or not.
Alfred H. Baumann Free Public Library ELevate: English Language Support and Family Literacy Kits $5,000
Elevate: EL Support and Family Literacy Kits, which will be added to the library collection and be available for checkout, provide easy access to the resources and information English Language Learners need as new citizens and/or as individuals who are new to learning English.
New Brunswick Free Public Library JobNow: Career Assistance for Our Community $5,000
Building upon the expertise library staff have gained over several years of providing one-on-one support for job seekers - including in resume writing, job searching, and interview preparation - the “JobNow: Career Assistance for Our Community” contract award will expand efforts to support community members with job seeking by taking support services out of the library building and into the community.
South Brunswick Public Library Every Minute Counts: Life Saving Training at the South Brunswick Public Library $1,550
This project provided the majority of South Brunswick Public Library staffers with training in CPR/AED use and other lifesaving measures, equipping them with the skills needed to respond quickly and effectively should there be a life threatening emergency.  Completion of the course resulted in all 30 participants receiving certification from the American Heart Association for completion of the CPR/AED class.
Union City Public Library Power Up, Union City! $5,000
The Union City Public Library used grant funds to purchase three 8-bay charging stations for patrons to safely charge devices at each Union City library.
Montclair Public Library Solar Canopy Project $5,000
Outdoor solar charging canopies have been purchased and will be installed on the library grounds, increasing patron accessibility to a reliable source of power for charging devices, regardless of whether the library building is open.

[ back to top ]

Eligibility, Application, Contract Award and Subsidy Process


  • LibraryLinkNJ member libraries and library-related agencies of all types that are in good standing* are eligible to apply for a contract award and the subsidy.

*Not sure if your institution is a member in good standing? Reach out to our staff to check on the status of your membership.

Application Process:

  • Eligible LibraryLinkNJ member libraries should fill out and submit the application form via mail or email (PDF required) to the addresses indicated on the application. The submission deadline is September 30, 2021 at 4:00pm. An earlier submission date is allowed.
  • Applications will be reviewed for required elements. Incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible.
  • Applications accumulate until the start date for evaluation.
  • A Grant Evaluation Panel will evaluate all eligible applications.
  • Libraries that apply agree to submit final fiscal and project reports to LibraryLinkNJ no later than May 10, 2022.
  • Participating libraries must agree that LibraryLinkNJ can share their report data with the membership, the library community outside the state, and selected media venues.

Contract Award Process:

  • The criteria for receiving a contract award include:
  • Applicant fulfills application process and signs contract award agreement if so offered.
  • Applicant partners with a local institution(s), organization(s) and/or business(es). This is not required but is encouraged.
  • Applicant describes current staff knowledge/capacity & interest, including approaches to staff training, staff scheduling, and programmatic scheduling.
  • Evaluation Panel will use a rubric which lists required elements and has point differentiations for the responses from applicants. Each of the following categories will be ranked in the range from 1 to 10, where the project application requirements are: not met (0), partially met (1-6), fully met (7) and exceeded (8-10).
    1. Application Certification & Project Table Completion
    2. Project Title & Description
    3. Description of Project Personnel & Partners
    4. Project Goals & Objectives
    5. Statement of Need
    6. Overview of Implementation Timeline
    7. Detailed Project Budget
    8. Description of Marketing Strategy and Publicity Plan
    9. Description of Evaluation Plan
    10. Description of Sustainability Plan

[ back to top ]

Grant Application & Guidelines

Ready for Anything Grant Guidelines PDF
Ready for Anything Grant Application & Narrative MS Word | PDF


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kinds of projects or programs are eligible to be covered? 

     Proposed projects or programs should take into account the following criteria:

  • The proposed project, program, or items for purchase are considered a direct response to the submitting library’s next great challenge. This could be anything from preparing for a natural disaster, to responding to a rising community health concern, to training staff for crisis response, and much more.
  • Materials and equipment are considered eligible expenses, but applications requesting funds for material or equipment purchases should clearly explain how the proposed items will be used within the larger context of preparation for, or response to, an out of the ordinary circumstance.
  • There must be reasonable cause to believe that the anticipated challenge or circumstance identified by the applying institution is, in fact, likely to occur. For example, a library wishing to fund mitigating measures for flood damage should be able to demonstrate why they believe that flooding is a pressing concern to their particular institution.


2. Are school, academic, or special libraries eligible to apply?

     Yes: applications are not limited to any particular library type.

  • Libraries of all types are encouraged to apply, as long as the submitting library is a member in good standing of LibraryLinkNJ.
  • If you aren’t sure whether your library is a member in good standing, feel free to reach out to Darby Malvey (darby [at]


3. Are schools, colleges, universities, or other institutions eligible to apply?

     Applications must come from LibraryLinkNJ member institutions.

  • LibraryLinkNJ members are encouraged to work in partnership with the larger communities and institutions of which they are part, but applications should come from the member institution itself and proposed projects or programs should be managed by the same. An elementary school, for example, is not eligible to apply; but the elementary school’s library is eligible to submit an application - because the library, specifically, is a LibraryLinkNJ member.


4. Can multiple branches of the same library system or multiple school libraries within the same school district apply?

     Yes, as long as each is a member in good standing of LibraryLinkNJ.


5. Do I have to be the voting representative for my institution to submit an application/serve as Project Director?

     Any member of the applying institution may serve as the Project Director.

  • The Project Director, however, should be someone whose primary responsibilities within the larger organization are as part of the library or other LibraryLinkNJ member institution. Using the example from above, if an elementary school library submits an application, the Project Director for that application should be a staff member whose primary job responsibilities are as library staff - classroom teachers, administrators, counselors, etc. should not be serving as Project Director.


6. Is there any fund matching required for the applying institution?

     This is a straight subsidy; no fund matching is required.


[ back to top ]