A library user at a computer cubicle

LibraryOn grants programme

The £1.1m LibraryOn grants programme funds public libraries in England to improve their online presence and discoverability.

The fund has now closed to new expressions of interest.

LibraryOn invited library services in England to submit an expression of interest that outlined their initial ideas for a funded project.

The expression of interest form asked 3 questions about project proposals. It was open for 4 weeks and closed at 9am on 29 March 2023.

LibraryOn is inviting library services in England to submit an expression of interest that outlines their initial ideas for a funded project.

The expression of interest form asks 3 questions about your project proposal. It will be open for 4 weeks and close at 9am on 29 March 2023.

Projects could include:

  • Upgrading existing websites
  • Upgrading other online offers or services
  • Piloting something brand new

Grants will range from £10,000 to £70,000. They will be offered to applicants across the country ensuring a balance in those library services benefitting, from small to large, rural to urban, and those with varied levels of digital literacy and activity. We will publish details of successful projects on the grants pages of the LibraryOn website in late May 2023.

You can read the guidance here:

Grants guidance

Application portal

Eligibility - who can apply

Any statutory library service in England can apply, including those run by mutuals, trusts and charities.

Applications must come from the service itself, rather than from individual branch libraries within a service.

Services can also apply together as a consortium.

The funding is for capital activity and requires applicants to confirm with their finance teams that the grant expenditure can be capitalised.

Following sector discussion, the application process has been designed to be as light touch as possible, to encourage a wide range of applications and to minimise impact on applicant.

What happens next

The expressions of interest will be reviewed by a panel including the LibraryOn team and others from the library sector.

Invited applicants will be asked to submit a full application, including more detail on their planned activity, expenditure and the intended outcomes.

These applicants will find out by early summer if they have been successful in gaining funding. Successful applicants will then have 6 months to complete their projects.

Aims of the grants programme

The grants programme has been developed following conversations with public library staff around the country.

The overall aim is to increase physical and digital footfall to public libraries by making it easier for the public to find, explore and access the range of services libraries offer.

The LibraryOn website will continue to provide a ‘shop window’ for public libraries at the national level, while the grants programme funds digital work and improvement at the local level. Together, they will establish an effective, user-friendly ‘digital ecosystem’ for the library sector, where existing and new users alike can easily discover and access all that libraries have to offer.

Further information

If you work in the public library sector and have any questions, contact us at [email protected].

You can also email us to subscribe to our sector newsletter for regular updates about LibraryOn.


  1. Application portal opens for expressions of interest

  2. Deadline for expressions of interest

  3. Applicants informed if they're invited to submit a full application

  4. Full application stage opens

  5. Deadline for full applications

  6. Applicants informed if their application was successful

  7. Project delivery period begins

  8. Project delivery period ends

  9. Deadline to submit final monitoring documents and final accounts.