The Secretary of Agriculture has designated $100 million in USDA Rural Development Community Facilities funding for rural public libraries. The program will provide educational opportunities and improve public services in rural communities. Specifically, Indiana’s share of approximately $2.2 million will primarily be provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and will help give rural communities the opportunity to improve their library facilities, enhance educational opportunities and improve economic conditions in America’s rural communities. Library construction or renovation projects also will create and save jobs for residents in the construction and library service fields.
The Community Facilities Program provides loans and grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. Direct loans can be made to applicants who are unable to obtain commercial credit. Rural Development can also guarantee loans. Community Facilities Grants are authorized on a graduated scale. Applicants located in smaller communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants. Grant funding limitations are based on population and income, economic feasibility and availability of funds.
Applications are handled by Indiana's USDA Rural Development field offices. Rural Development staff will be glad to discuss the Community Facilities Program application process, provide application materials and current program information, and assist in the preparation of an application. Please view this map if you are unsure of the USDA field district in which your library belongs.
There is no deadline to apply, but all Community Facilities Grants funds for rural public libraries must be spent by September 2010. Completed applications will be considered as they are received.