SUNYLA has a small grants program that is used to reimburse members for expenses associated with professional growth activities when other funding sources (e.g., campus tuition reimbursement or Individual Development Grants) are only partially or not available. Administered by the Association’s Professional Development Grants Subcommittee, the program aims to support the professional growth of individual members, while giving special consideration to those applicants who demonstrate how their own exposure to an activity will have broad impact on enhancing the development of other colleagues as well. In general, the more colleagues who tangibly benefit from an applicant’s activity, the more weight that application will receive.


SUNYLA members in good standing are eligible to apply for program grants. Date of the activity must fall within paid membership period. Members are eligible to apply for grants once every two years.


1. Organizing Regional Workshops. All applications for organizing regional workshops will receive high priority consideration. A regional workshop is any form of small meeting (e.g., workshop, discussion group, guest speaker forum, etc.), on any topic of current professional concern, held at a location within daily automobile driving distance of attendees.

Two types of applications will be considered:

a. Applications for partial or full reimbursement for expenses associated with administering a regional workshop already held during the current academic year.

b. Seed money applications (before meeting is held), for “setting up” costs. The committee will grant funds for this purpose with the understanding that, if the workshop generates a profit, SUNYLA will be reimbursed.

2. Research Activities. The Professional Development Committee will give priority consideration to research projects whose findings will be presented at a SUNYLA conference. Also receiving special consideration will be research that is directly related to some aspect of the librarian’s professional growth and development.

3. Continuing Formal Education. Tuition reimbursement will be available to those enrolled in courses, workshops, seminars, and so forth, when other funding sources are not fully available. Applicants should explain how their exposure to and/or participation in a particular program will enhance their professional skills. Priority will be given to applicants who show also how their acquisition of new skills and knowledge tangibly contributes to the professional growth and development of their colleagues.

4. Visitations. SUNYLA members may be reimbursed for expenses associated with visiting other libraries for the purpose of observing and studying an operation, service, or additional library application or program of interest to their own libraries. Special consideration will be given to those applicants who demonstrate how expertise gained as a result of their visit is being used to educate colleagues in areas such as training, teaching, management, systems, etc.

Applicants who visit other libraries for the purpose of teaching or training will also receive special consideration.

5. Travel expenses associated with any of the above activities or other professional growth endeavors not covered above, for which local campus or other funding is not fully available. Priority consideration will be given to those who must travel to deliver presentations at one or more professional meetings, or to those using new knowledge and skills obtained during professional travel to teach and train colleagues in their own libraries or elsewhere.

The committee prefers that grant funds be used for activities not directly sponsored by SUNYLA but will consider applications for such on a limited basis. Special circumstances will be taken into account.


All applications will be evaluated by members of the Professional Development Grants Subcommittee as they are received. Award decisions will be made as quickly as possible.

Applicants are asked to demonstrate in writing the value of their activity in terms of any of the following:

  • Their own resulting professional development
  • Any resulting professional growth of colleagues
  • The benefit to their library or to a group of SUNY libraries
  • The benefit to SUNYLA and its membership, etc.

Download application:    Word

Applicants are required to submit documentation of their activity (e.g. program announcements or correspondence).


Each applicant will be notified of the decision made on his or her request. Awardees are required to submit receipts from the activity to the SUNYLA Treasurer in order to be reimbursed. Requests for checks to be disbursed before the activity has occurred will be considered on a case by case basis.

Funding of up to $750.00 per application may be awarded. The committee reserves the right to some flexibility and discretion concerning the number of awards actually granted and their amounts.

Successful applicants will be required to submit a brief written report to the Professional Development Grants Subcommittee describing the activity supported by the grant after the activity has occurred. Applicants will also be required to share their reports with the membership via the Association’s newsletter.

Any questions or comments can be addressed to Lisa Errico (Nassau), the committee chair.

Revised June 2009