Rural Public Library Grants

Children’s Book Project Program Grants

Rural public libraries in the United States that have suffered loss and damage due to recent natural disasters (flooding, fire, hurricanes, etc.) may be eligible for special non-matching grants: Disaster Relief Grant information.

For libraries experiencing budgetary declines due to reduced or eliminated funding, please apply for our Children’s Book Project Grant. The Children’s Book Project Grant is a community supported matching grant program.

Children’s Book Project Grant Information

Please read all the information below to determine if your library is eligible for a grant under the Children’s Book Project Program. The Pilcrow Foundation does not offer grants to libraries outside of the 50 United States, libraries in urban or metropolitan areas, or libraries with substantial operating budgets. Do not apply if your library is not located within the United States.

The Pilcrow Foundation, a national non-profit public charity, provides a 2-to-1 match to rural public libraries that receive a grant through its Children’s Book Project and contribute $200-$400 through a local sponsors for the purchase of up to $1,200 worth (at retail value) of new, quality, hardcover children’s books.

We provide a list of over 500 quality hardcover children’s books from which Children’s Book Project grant recipients can select books best suited for their community. The book list includes award-winning and star-reviewed titles from educational and literary organizations.

Oregon Book Project: Grant-Funded Projects for Rural Libraries in Oregon

During our April 2022 and October 2022 grant cycles, we will be providing additional books to rural public libraries in Oregon that receive a Children’s Book Project grant. The Oregon Book Project is a grant-funded program to support rural public libraries in Oregon. Please contact Karren Timmermans ( to determine if your library qualifies for the Oregon Book Project.

  • Confederate Tribes of Siletz Indians: The Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund will provide an additional six to eight children’s books by Native American authors and illustrators to rural public libraries in Oregon.
  • The Chambers Family Foundation will provide an additional $100 to $200 worth of books to rural public libraries in Lane County, Deschutes County, and Benton County.

Rural Library Systems

The Pilcrow Foundation accepts applications from independent rural public libraries and Native American Tribal libraries as well as libraries that are part of a county, regional, or cooperative system.

A branch library may apply if it serves a rural community. If the branch library receives its funding from a parent institution, the parent institution’s total operating budget, not just the branch library’s total operating budget, must demonstrate budgetary limitations.

The Pilcrow Foundation accepts applications from school libraries only if the school library also serves as the community’s public library (i.e., it is open to the entire community; has summer hours; is open beyond the school day, including Saturdays; there is no public library in town) and meets the budgetary and rural requirements.

Funding Requirements

Libraries qualify for the Children’s Book Project grant on an individual basis. To qualify for the grant, libraries must be located in a rural area within the 50 United States, have a limited operating budget, have an active children’s department, and raise $200-$400 through a local sponsor. Libraries with total operating budgets of less than $50,000 will receive funding priority; however, town libraries with total operating budgets over $150,000 may also apply for grants. Be sure to provide accurate information about the library’s operating budget on the Children’s Book Project grant application. Failure to accurately describe the library’s operating budget may disqualify your application.

Rural Library Service Areas

A rural community is typically more than 40 miles from an urban area (population over 50,000) and not a part of a metropolitan area. A rural town library system should serve a population under 10,000 (priority to community populations under 5,000). A rural county library system should serve a population under 20,000. Be sure to provide accurate information about your library’s service area on the Children’s Book Project grant application. Failure to accurately describe your service area may disqualify your application.

Grant Application and Funding Cycle

Annual application deadlines for grant cycles are April 1 and October 1 (postmark date). You do not need to send your application by Express or Certified Mail etc., as we look at the postmark date for adherence to the deadline. Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed for the next grant cycle.

Grants will be awarded and grant recipients will be posted on our website by April 15 and October 15. Acceptance packets will be mailed within 10-15 days after we announce the Children’s Book Project grant recipients on our website. We are not able to notify librarians who did not receive a grant.

Librarians apply for a grant application from The Pilcrow Foundation by mail or online. Please use either the printed application or the online application.

Apply by mail: If you would like to mail your application for the Children’s Book Project Grant, use the PDF or Word forms linked below. Mail the application to The Pilcrow Foundation. Please do not email the the PDF or Word application or send your matching funds with the application.

Apply online: Complete the online form below. You will not be able to save the form as you go along. You can view and download the complete application above. Please do not complete the online form if you plan to mail a printed copy.

The Children’s Book Project Grant Online Application is now available for the October 2023 grant applications.


Children’s Book Project grant recipients who have fulfilled all grant funding requirements, including the final report (see Section X in the Children’s Book Project grant application for details), may apply for another grant at any time. Grant recipients who do not fulfill all the grant requirements including the final report are not eligible for future grants funded by The Pilcrow Foundation through the Children’s Book Project.

If you have any questions about The Pilcrow Foundation, its Children’s Book Project, or the grant application, please contact Karren Timmermans (

Children’s Book Project Grant Recipients

A librarian from the library awarded a grant through the Children’s Book Project Program will receive an acceptance packet with details of the award and a booklist, provided by The Pilcrow Foundation, from which to select books for the library. The booklist is divided into two groups based on recommended age and grade levels. Books in Group 1 are for emergent and beginning readers (birth to age 7; preschool to grade 2). Books in Group 2 are for middle and intermediate readers (ages 7 to 12; grades 2 to 6). Please note: The booklists are for the sole use of participants in The Pilcrow Foundation’s Children’s Book Project and should not be distributed for any reason. We only distribute the book list to grant recipients.

The Foundation provides bookplates for all books received through the Children’s Book Project. The bookplates identify the local sponsors and The Pilcrow Foundation. If the library received all of the sponsored funds “in honor of” or “in memory of” an individual, the bookplates may be inscribed to honor that person.