Funding for Teen/Young Adult Library Services

17 Jul

worrying about money

The best way to demonstrate the need for an increased teen services budget is to hold successful teen events or projects in one’s library.For many of us working in UK public libraries, it’s difficult to convince our colleagues to release money from already tight budgets in order to fund youth projects so that their importance and feasibility may be shown.

Luckily, successful applications for external funding can help encourage to your local authority that teen services are worth more time and money, while simultaneously getting new youth projects off the ground.

The list below will be added to whenever I find a new source of external funding. Hopefully over time it will grow to great proportions! Whenever you find a new source of youth-related funding that public, school, or juvenile detention center libraries may access, please email it to, and I’ll credit you at the end of this post.* A comprehensive list of funding sources for children and young people can be found on the Children & Young People Now website, but many of these sources are not available to libraries.

Sources of Funding for Teen / Young Adult Library Projects:

Staff-led sources of library funding:

+The Co-Operative Community Fund
+National Lottery
+Paul Hamlyn Foundation
    specifically thePaul Hamlyn Foundation Education and Learning Programme
+Arts Council England
+v Match Fund (informative PDF here)

Youth-led projects (young people must generate the ideas, fill out application and lead the project):

+O2 Think Big
+YouthBank (Young people may only apply if there is a Youth Bank in your area.)
+In England: The Big Lottery Fund’s Young People’s Fund
+Some chapters of the British Youth Council provide funding for young people’s projects. See the British Youth Council website for contact details of local Youth Councils.
+Youth Opportunity Fund and Youth Capital Fund defunct
+Media Box defunct

School libraries:

+European Commission Education and Training Grants

Regional grants:

+CILIP East of England Small Grants Fund for staff development only (could be useful for staff trainings or the offsetting of conference costs)

Additional ideas:

+Hold a fundraiser! Here’s a YALSA post that shows you how: Dollars and Sense

+Crowdfunding is a relatively new way of raising funds for projects by getting small donations from interested individuals on the internet. See the Ideas Tap crowdfunding guide for further information and a helpful list of links.

If you know young people interested in getting funding for a project outside the library, you can find more information here: Big Lottery Fund Young People’s Funding Guide.

*Many thanks to Susy Chaplin, Matt Holmes, Fran Wilde and Anne Harding for their contributions to this list.

7 Responses to “Funding for Teen/Young Adult Library Services”

  1. Kieskneipe July 5, 2011 at 14:54 #


    your blog is very good, i have also a blog about gravel bar, which is in Germany a children’s language and the expression for a bank. It’s funny and there are free checking accounts. Just look a look.

    Greetings from Germany


  1. How To Create a Teen Space in Your Library « YA Library UK - July 22, 2010

    […] projects are most important, and how can you fund them? (Don’t forget to check out our list of potential funding sources.) Also consider where in the library the teen space will fit. If you work in a one-room shack, it […]

  2. Starting a Teen Advisory Group (TAG) « YA Library UK - July 22, 2010

    […] or applying for funding. If you need help finding funding resources, take a look at the list of the youth-led projects list under sources of funding for more information on grants for […]

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    […] Film showings and/or film clubs entice teens uninterested in reading to attending library events. A film club may involve screening, discussing, or even making films (if you lack film equipment, you can always apply for a grant or bursary). […]

  4. Links Round-Up: Engaging Teens, Evaluating Programmes and Free Text « YA Library UK - December 1, 2010

    […] on YA Library UK, I’ve (finally) updated the list of funding sources for youth library programs in the UK. One of the many novels you can choose to read as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge! YA book […]

  5. Further Teen Advisory Group DOs and DON’Ts « YA Library UK - February 16, 2011

    […] +Don’t become discouraged if the library budget precludes teenagers or your TAG. The accomplishments of a Teen Advisory Group can help to bolster your proposals to managers for allocation of money to teen programmes (in fact, the TAG may have input into any such proposal). In the meantime, the group has the option of raising money themselves by hosting book sales, bake sales, workshops and the like. Alternately, teen groups may apply for funding. […]

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    […] that take place in or related to the library can still apply for money. You can find a list of current sources of funding here. Starbucks Youth Action is offering funding for young people right now. Applications due by 9 AM on […]

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