Propagating Promising Practices Application

Applications Accepted April 3 to May 15, 2020


Public libraries have great potential to increase education and workforce development opportunities for adults, especially those with low language literacy, numeracy, and digital literacy skills. Three libraries, Providence Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and Los Angeles Public Library, who have implemented strategies to meet the needs of these adults, have partnered on an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership grant to further develop and document their practices and support additional libraries in implementing similar strategies to meet their communities’ needs. Three promising practices, all technology-enabled, have been identified: Learning Lounges, learning circles, and mobile learning. Propagating Promising Practices for Literacy and Workforce Development at Libraries’ (P3) goal is for public libraries to be effective and welcoming hubs for lifelong learning, digital inclusion, and economic empowerment.

In year one of the P3 project (2018–19), the three partner libraries met regularly to support and learn from one another’s implementation, and to understand the contextual factors that shape the scope and design of each of the three practices. They identified their conditions for success which other libraries can use to evaluate their own capacities and to assess which practices best fit their own community’s specific needs. An online toolkit has been developed to support libraries in the implementation of the practices.

In year two of the project, six libraries will be selected to learn about and implement one of these three technology-enabled practices to extend learning options to adults with limited English, academic, or digital skills. The project will offer the selected libraries access to implementation tools and strategies, peer mentorship and technical assistance, and a community of colleagues to address common implementation challenges.The goal is to broaden understanding of how the practices can help libraries expand their approaches to serving adults with limited skills and how these practices can be implemented in varied library settings.

Benefits to Libraries for Participation and Piloting a New Practice

  • Increased services to low-skilled adults in your community
  • Resources and tools to support the implementation of one of the practices
  • Personalized mentoring and technical assistance
  • Participation in a professional community of practice
  • $3,000.00 stipend (Stipends can be used for staff training, resources, travel expenses)

Who can participate?

Any public library that would like to increase the integration of technology-enabled practices to address the learning and workforce readiness needs of low-skilled adults is welcomed to apply to participate. 

To be selected to participate in the project, libraries must:

  • Make a commitment for the entire initiative from June 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021.
  • Submit the Conditions for Success Self-Assessment and the application by May 15, 2020.
  • Have a clear plan for meeting the Conditions for Success for the practice they wish to implement.
  • Designate one or more staff members to participate consistently in project activities.
  • Agree to participate in the following ways:
    • Implement the chosen practice for at least six months of the project year
    • Contribute (local approaches, challenges, tools) to monthly sharing meetings
    • Utilize technical assistance resources to support local implementation of the new practice
    • Collect and submit implementation data and documentation

Selection Process

Each application will be reviewed and rated using a three-point scoring rubric. Applicants will be notified by May 29, 2020 of their acceptance.

If you’d like to submit a question or see the FAQs about the project or the application, click HERE. Questions will be accepted until May 8, 2020.


April 3-May 15, 2020: Applications accepted
May 8, 2020: Deadline for written questions. Responses will be posted on project website
May 29, 2020: Participants notified of acceptance
June 2020: Online orientation
June 2020-June 2021: Montly community calls
July-September 2020: Training (additional funds may be available for travel if required)
September 2020-May 2021: Implementation
June 2021: Project wrap-up