Massachusetts is home to many people who speak non-English languages or have limited English proficiency. To help libraries better serve their increasingly diverse communities, the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) is offering Language Learning Grants to staff who are currently employed in MLS member libraries.
If you are interested in applying for a Language Learning Grant, please review the Conditions for the Language Learning Grant, which lays out the terms and conditions for the grant. Once you have read and understand this information, you are welcome to fill out the Language Learning Grant Application.
For a high-level overview of the Language Learning Grant program, please see our Step-By-Step Guide.
The Language Learning Grant program supports Initiative 1 Goal 3, Initiative 2 Goal 2, and Initiative 3 Goal 1 of the MLS Strategic Plan.
This section contains the terms and conditions for the Language Learning Grant. Please read this information thoroughly before submitting a Language Learning Grant Application. There are seven tabs of information:
MLS reserves the right to modify these conditions. Contact us if you have any questions. When applying for a Language Learning Grant, you will be asked to verify that you read and understand this information.
All staff who are currently employed by an MLS member library are eligible to apply for a Language Learning Grant. You must be employed by an MLS member library both at the time you apply for a Language Learning Grant and the time that that your language course begins. Trustees, friends of the library, volunteers, and other non-paid staff members are not eligible to apply for a Language Learning Grant.
If you are unsure whether your library is an MLS member, check the MBLC Library Database. All of the libraries listed in this database are members of MLS.
Language Learning Grants reimburse MLS member library staff to take eligible language courses. Courses are eligible for reimbursement if they:
Courses may be held either in-person or online. Individual tutoring is not eligible.
Eligible language courses include:
The organization that offers the course may be a community college, college, university, professional association (e.g., ALA), independent institute, non-profit organization, or other recognized educational organization.
Courses are not eligible if the instructor is:
Use the following chart to determine whether the course you are interested in taking is scheduled to begin in the next four months:
|If the current month is:||You can submit an application for classes that begin in:|
If you need to enroll in a course that is scheduled to begin more than four months out, you must contact Sarah Donnelly (MLS's Event & Project Manager), firstname.lastname@example.org, and receive approval before submitting your application, otherwise your application will be denied.
If your Language Learning Grant Application is approved, you may be reimbursed up to $500 per language course.
Funding is made available on a first-come, first-served, non-competitive basis.
MLS will provide funding for you to take one language course at a time. Once your course has ended, you may apply to take another course. You may receive funding for up to four language courses every fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).
Please note: if your application is approved, you must request reimbursement no later than June 15 of the fiscal year in which your application was approved. (Our fiscal year runs from July 1 - June 30.) Requests for reimbursement that are submitted after June 15 of the fiscal year in which your application was approved, or that remain incomplete after that time, will not be considered.
Once the funding budgeted for the Language Learning Grant program has been awarded for the fiscal year (July 1 – June 30), no additional Language Learning Grants will be considered during that fiscal year.
Funding may only be used for language course tuition, required associated fees, required textbooks, and required course materials. Funding may not be used for travel, supplies, meals, or any other expenses.
You must submit a complete Language Learning Grant Application at least 10 business days before the start of the language course you are interested in taking. Applications will not be considered complete until all required information is received by MLS.
Applications that are submitted or completed with fewer than 10 business days before the start of the language course will be considered at the sole discretion of MLS.
Applications that are submitted or completed after the start of the language course will not be considered.
MLS will review timely submitted complete applications on a rolling basis. These applications will typically be approved or denied within 10 business days. If you do not hear from us within 10 business days after you submit a complete application, please contact Sarah Donnelly (MLS's Event & Project Manager), at email@example.com, to check on the status of your application.
Please note: you are only eligible to be approved to take one language course at a time. If I wish to apply for approval to take another course, you must complete the first course and submit the survey in order to be eligible to apply for another course. If you apply for approval to take another course before you have completed the first course and/or submitted the survey, your application will be denied.
The decision to approve or deny an application is made at the sole discretion of MLS and is based upon the criteria set forth in these Conditions for the Language Learning Grant.
Once your Language Learning Grant Application has been approved, you are eligible to receive reimbursement up to $500 per language course from MLS. MLS only provides reimbursement, it does not provide monetary advances. You are required to pay for the course and then request reimbursement.
To request reimbursement, you must send the following information and documents to Sarah Donnelly (MLS’s Event & Project Manager), at firstname.lastname@example.org:
You may submit for reimbursement as soon as your application has been approved. You do not need to wait until the end of your course to request reimbursement. We will process your reimbursement request upon receipt of the above information and documents.
Credit card statements are not acceptable documentation for reimbursement purposes.
It is your responsibility to request reimbursement and to ensure that all required information and documentation is received by MLS. Incomplete requests for reimbursement will not be considered until all required information and documentation has been received by MLS.
All requests for reimbursement must be made no later than June 15 of the fiscal year in which your application was approved. (Our fiscal year runs from July 1 – June 30.)
Requests for reimbursement that are submitted after June 15 of the fiscal year in which your application was approved, or that remain incomplete after that time, will not be considered.
Your reimbursement will be processed through Bill.com. You may receive emails from Bill.com about your reimbursement.
After your application has been approved, if you are unable to take the course for any reason, you must inform MLS as soon as possible.
Within 30 days of the end of the language course, you must complete a Language Learning Grant Survey. This survey helps MLS understand the impact of the grants and should take 5-10 minutes to complete. Completion of this survey is a requirement of the grant.
Failure to complete the survey will result in MLS declining any application you submit for any grant funds for the next two fiscal years or until you complete the survey, whichever comes first.
Information from completed surveys will be anonymized and may be used by MLS to continuously improve the Language Learning Grant program and for reporting and marketing purposes.
If you are looking for an additional or alternative way to learn a language, try our new statewide language learning resource: Transparent Language. This resource contains language lessons for 100+ languages. Find your public library's link to this resource on the MBLC's Find Your Library Links page. For more information about Transparent Language, check out MLS's Statewide Databases LibGuide or contact email@example.com.
MLS will use the email and telephone number that you include in your Language Learning Grant Application to communicate with you. It is your responsibility to notify MLS of any changes to your email or telephone number.
Throughout the Language Learning Grant process, you will receive automated emails from firstname.lastname@example.org. Please add this email to your Safe Senders List to ensure that notifications do not end up in your junk folder.
If you have any questions about the Language Learning Grant program, please contact: