Boston Library Consortium pilots Innovation Fund to support Communities of Interest, Working Groups, and Committees

October 27, 2020—The Boston Library Consortium (BLC) has established the BLC Innovation Fund to support and enrich the activities of our Communities of Interest, Working Groups, and Committees through the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year.

More than 400 librarians and library staff are engaged across 18 BLC Communities, spanning a broad range of library practice areas and serving as incubators of projects significant to academic and research libraries across New England. Even as most BLC activity transitioned to virtual spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, three new Communities of Interest launched in recent months: Business; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; and, Science and Engineering.

“We are delighted to establish this new pilot initiative to support and enrich the activities of our Communities,” said Anne Langley, BLC President and Dean of the UConn Library. “The Innovation Fund will position the BLC Communities of Interest, Working Groups, and Committees to expand upon the creative and collaborative work undertaken by librarians and staff across our member libraries.”

Throughout the pilot, individual BLC Communities of Interest, Working Groups, and Committees may apply for funding awards of up to $1,500 to enrich their collective work. Possible uses for funding include honoraria and costs associated with external guest speakers, training and professional development fees, and other costs incurred beyond ordinary meeting expenses.

Provisional applications for emergent projects and activities are encouraged. BLC Communities may also submit multiple smaller applications throughout the year, though each BLC Community may receive no more than $1,500 in total from the BLC Innovation Fund during the pilot period.

Applications are considered on a monthly basis for proposals received by the first day of each month. Funding is limited, and the final application deadline for the pilot is May 1, 2021. Award notifications will be communicated within three weeks of each deadline.

“The BLC Innovation Fund increases the capacity of the BLC Communities to pursue new ideas and cultivates deeper connections between our member libraries to advance collaborative projects,” added Charlie Barlow, BLC’s Executive Director.

For additional information and to apply, visit our website at blc.org/innovation-fund