The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation


The Program
Lois Lenski, children’s book author and 1946 Newbery medalist for Strawberry Girl, had a life-long concern that all children have access to good books. In pursuit of this goal she established a foundation to provide grants to agencies serving children in disadvantaged populations.
The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation annually awards grants to libraries and (other institutions that operate a library) for purchasing books published for young people preschool through grade 8. School libraries, non-traditional libraries operated by charitable [501(c)(3)] and other non-taxable agencies, and bookmobile programs are eligible. The Foundation provides grants to libraries or organizations that serve economically or socially at-risk children, have limited book budgets, and demonstrate real need.
Grants for 2016 will range from $500 to $3000 and are specifically for book purchases, and cannot be used for administrative or operational uses. Grants will be awarded on or before 10 October 2016. Organizations receiving grants will be notified by mail. A list of those libraries will be posted by 18 October in the “News” page of this web site. Because of the volume of applicants, no written notification will be sent to those organizations that were not awarded grants.
Purpose of the Grants
The library grant program provides grants for purchasing children’s fiction or non-fiction books. The books are to be available for checkout by young people for pleasure reading or, perhaps, as a source of information for a lengthy assignment. The library grant program DOES NOT provide grants for book distribution programs (book gift programs), classroom collections, atlases, dictionaries, basal readers or similar texts, workbooks or similar instructional tools, magazine subscriptions, or for textbooks or encyclopedias.
Grant applications for audio books will be considered only in the cases of children with special needs, where audio books would be particularly appropriate in addressing those needs. The Foundation will consider funding for the purchase of e-books, but not for e-readers.
Funding Eligibility
The LLCF library grant program provides grants to lending libraries for the purchase of books for children preschool through grade 8 [Early Reader books through Young Adult and Hi-Lo books]. We will consider applications for school libraries and for bookmobile programs, as well as for non-traditional libraries. Non-traditional libraries are those within or operated by charitable organizations [501(c)(3)] or other non-taxable entities that have lending libraries where young people may check out books to read or to use for gathering information. Examples of such organizations include youth or family resource centers, detention centers, organizations serving young people with mental or physical health challenges, etc. In this latter category the Foundation will consider purchasing books to be used by young people preschool through grade 12, but as with other libraries only Early Reader through Young Adult and Hi-Lo books may be purchased. Only libraries or organizations within the United States, its territories, or commonwealths are eligible.
School libraries: please note that we will only consider schools for which 65% or more of the student population qualifies for federal free or reduced lunch assistance.
In order for a library to be considered, it must have been in operation for at least three years.
District or county library systems cannot apply as a whole; school libraries within a district or county system must apply individually.
Grant awardees will be asked to return a brief questionnaire and to provide documentation of grant spending.
We have one grant cycle per year:
  • Applications for library grants typically become available on this website on or around February 15th.
  • The due date for sending the completed application is May 13th, 2016. [This is the last date that an application should be postmarked. Do not waste money sending an application via express delivery.]
  • We send notification and checks to grant recipients by October 10th. The list of recipients will be posted on the "News" page of this website by October 18th.
Questions regarding the Foundation or its library grant program may be addressed to:
Michael Covey
The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation
P. O. Box 255366
Sacramento, CA 95865
Alternatively, questions may be sent by email to:
The Application
A link to a downloadable application is available at the Grant Application webpage. That webpage also provides detailed instructions for completing and sending the application.