Schools Receive NEKLS Grants

Schools Receive NEKLS Grants
Posted on 08/21/2020
NEKLS logo with grants announced wording

USD 230 School Libraries Receive Covid Relief Grant


The school libraries of Spring Hill High, Woodland Spring Middle, Spring Hill Middle, Spring Hill Elementary, Prairie Creek Elementary, and Timber Sage Elementary have each been named $1000 award recipients of the NorthEast Kansas Library System Covid Relief grant.

School libraries were eligible to apply for up to $5,000 in grant funds, to be used to offset the purchase of materials and/or technology to help ease the disruption COVID-19 caused in our education system.  

In awarding grants, the selection committee prioritized three aspects: 

  • e-content (databases and ebooks) 

  • safety (materials for curbside/classroom book delivery, materials quarantine and social distancing)

  • traditional library media (print books) 

USD 230 school libraries intend to use the funding to purchase materials for delivering books to classrooms, providing curbside pick-up services, quarantining books, restocking books, and safety shields. 

“We are grateful to the Northeast Kansas Library System for helping us provide more opportunities for students to access reading and research materials during this pandemic,” said Wayne Burke, superintendent. “With the uncertainty of the upcoming school year it is reassuring to know that our students have several ways to access resources at school and at home.”

The funding agency is Northeast Kansas Library System (NEKLS). Headquartered in Lawrence, NEKLS is a publicly-funded entity that supports 118 member libraries, including 51 schools and school districts, in the 14 counties of Northeast Kansas. Through strengthening member schools and libraries, NEKLS annually improves the education of 140,880 students in grades K-12 across the region.


The Northeast Kansas Library System Staff and Executive Board offered $80,000 in competitive grants to school libraries that serve any combination of students aged K-12. All applicants were members of Northeast Kansas Library System. 

In all, NEKLS received 47 grant applications from schools or districts. Grant offers were extended to 41 applicants, representing 51 schools in 18 districts. 

“We are pleased to be able to help these 51 schools improve physical safety and digital library services to their students and to their faculty and staff. A vibrant library is vital to any school community,” said Laura DeBaun, Director of NEKLS.

For a full list of grant offers, visit this page

Each proposal was unique, and NEKLS recognized that each school has unique needs. The program asks that school libraries use funds to the best effect for the learning and safety needs of each particular situation. 

Grantees will be required to to complete financial and narrative reports to assist NEKLS in evaluating this program. 

Media contact information

For more information on this grant program, contact Anna Foote, Youth and School Services Consultant for Northeast Kansas Library System;



Northeast Kansas Library System is a publicly-funded agency that supports 118 member libraries, including 51 schools and school districts, in the 14 counties of Northeast Kansas. This support takes many forms, including grants, trainings, consulting and resource sharing. Counties served include: Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Douglas, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, Nemaha, Osage, Shawnee and Wyandotte.


NEKLS It is one of seven cooperating regional library systems in Kansas.


Our mission: NEKLS inspires and empowers member libraries to engage, educate and add value to their communities.