Important dates

The deadline for applications is Friday, February 2, 2024.

Successful applicants will be notified before March 31, 2024 and projects must be completed by March 31, 2025. 


The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation has allocated $200,000 to be distributed through the Municipal Affairs Public Library Services Branch (PLSB) as a grant program.

The purpose of this one-time grant program is to support public library boards in rural areas to strengthen their services and programs to support communities in becoming resilient and sustainable.

The grant is intended to support initiatives in rural public libraries that promote:

  • digital literacy, including basic computer skills, cyber security and fraud detection, and evaluating online information effectively
  • employment and job skills development, including resume writing, job interviewing, and career exploration
  • support for new Canadians, such as citizenship supports, English language learning, employment supports and welcoming communities


  • This is a one-time grant program with a total budget of $200,000.
  • Grants will be awarded in amounts of $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000. The total number of recipients will depend on the number of applicants and the amounts applied for.
  • This is one-time project funding that is separate from PLSB’s annual operating grant funds and is awarded using a process separate from the operating grant application process.

Selection process

  • Application packages must be completed and submitted in electronic format by Friday, February 2, 2024.
  • The review of applications will be conducted by PLSB staff and final decisions will be made by the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
  • Selection criteria include:
    • demonstration of need
    • quality of planning
    • alignment with grant program objectives
    • suitability of proposed benchmarking


  • Applications must be for initiatives that have been or will be launched between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2025.
  • Initiatives can include projects, programs and capital expenditures. But, boards may spend no more than 25% of grant funds awarded from the grant program on capital costs, such as bookshelves, furniture, computers or other technology purchases.
  • Projects previously funded by the grant program are not eligible to be funded again.
  • The following are not eligible expenditures under the grant program:
    • ongoing library operational expenses
    • SuperNet or internet connectivity
    • projects or initiatives that are substantially complete
  • Eligible applicants are restricted to municipal, intermunicipal and First Nations library boards serving rural jurisdictions.
  • For the purposes of this grant, a rural jurisdiction has the following characteristics:
    • a population of less than 20,000 people
    • limited geographic proximity to population centres over 25,000 that could provide sources of employment and services
    • communities may be remote and/or have in them, or around them, a significant amount of nature, natural resources, agricultural land and wilderness areas
  • Applicants must follow current legislation and generally accepted library policy and operational standards.

How to apply

Step 1. Read the application package

For best results, click on the link and, from your browser, save the PDF form before filling it out.

PDF form issues

Fillable PDF forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save the form:

  1. Save the PDF form to your computer – click or right-click the link and download the form.
  2. Open the PDF form with Adobe Reader. Fill it in and save it.

If you are still having problems opening the form, contact PDF form technical support.

Step 2. Complete the application package

Fill out the application package thoroughly.

For guidance on how to prepare a strong application, review this short video, which will walk you through the application form.

If you would like an accessible version of this form, contact our Accessibility Team Lead at [email protected].

Step 3. Submit the application package

Send all enquiries and completed applications to [email protected].

After you apply

Successful library board applicants will be notified before March 31, 2024.


Successful library boards who are project grant recipients will be expected to:

  • sign a project grant agreement with the Government of Alberta for the funds
  • expend all awarded funds by March 1, 2025
  • prepare and submit a financial report once funds have been expended
  • prepare and submit a final project report on the initiative by September 30, 2025
  • be available to ministry communications’ teams to share impact stories and successes

Grant recipients

Check back in summer 2024 to hear more about successful recipients and their projects.


Connect with the Public Library Services Branch:

Phone: 780-427-4871
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

17th Floor, Commerce Place
10155 102 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4L4