USDA Rural Development Grants for Libraries Available Now!

Rural Libraries Benefit!

Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, announced the goal to provide $100 million of USDA’s Community Facilities ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds for public libraries. The VT/NH jurisdiction will have at least $2.2 Million in funding to offer to libraries for capital projects such as buildings and equipment. There are many excellent outcomes when we support rural libraries:

  • Rural libraries not only play a vital role in educating their patrons, they also enhance the economic vitality of a rural community.
  • Rural business owners receive an array of information resources at the public library. The educational opportunities afforded create more productive employees for rural businesses.
  • The construction or renovation projects for libraries create and save jobs in the construction and library service fields.
  • A new or renovated library facility in a rural community can be a catalyst for renewing that community’s downtown area.
  • Public libraries are culturally and technologically critical to the rural communities they serve.  Public libraries offer a host of state of the art communication services to rural residents that are often otherwise unavailable in their community.
  • Libraries are often a rural community’s cultural center; offering public programming to adults and children.
  • Public libraries are important to bridging the digital divide and improving the quality of life in rural America.

Community Facilities: The Community Facilities Program offers direct and guaranteed loans and grants designed to finance capital projects and equipment of over 80 different types of essential community facilities serving rural areas. These facilities include, but are not limited to, hospitals, elderly care facilities, child care centers, fire and rescue stations, vocational and medical rehabilitation centers, schools, public transportation infrastructure, Famer’s Markets and Libraries.

Community Facilities Program:  Both loans and grants are available. Loans are made at below-market, long term, fixed interest rates.  Grants are limited to projects with high financial need that serve low income communities.  Eligible expenses include land acquisition, construction of facilities, necessary professional fees, and equipment.  Key program points are:

  • Community served must be under 20,000 in population
  • Contact your local RD office regarding grant eligible service areas. Please visit to find an office near you in VT or NH.
  • Note: Grants range from 0-75% and require matching funds. Please visit to see if your community is eligible for grant assistance. Note: Loan and Loan guarantees are available to all communities of 20,000 or less in population.
  • Both Public and Non-Profit Libraries who are open to the public may qualify.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.
To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800)795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).