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Consulting and Training Services: ALA eCourse Grant

Welcome to Consulting and Training Services at the Massachusetts Library System. On this page, you'll find info about our staff, our services, and links to guides about classes, topics, and services we offer.

ALA eCourse Grant Overview

The American Library Association (ALA) offers a range of online professional development eCourses designed to meet the needs of library and information workers of all types, including paraprofessionals.  ALA's eCourses cover a wide variety of topics, including administration and leadership, cataloging, intellectual freedom, technology, reference, programs and services, DEI, and much more.  ALA'e eCourses typically:

  • Are asynchronous, so participants can go through each week's contents at their own pace
  • Begin on Mondays
  • Include assigned readings, outside resources, and discussion forums
  • Last three to six weeks, though some last longer
  • Require approximately four to six hours of work each week
  • Require an ALA account, which can be made for free without any kind of membership needed

To see a list of all of the eCourses that ALA is currently offering, please visit ALA's eLearning Catalog

If you are interested in applying for an ALA eCourse Grant, please review the Conditions for the ALA eCourse Grant, which lay out the terms and conditions for the grant.  Once you have read and understand this information, you are welcome to fill out the ALA eCourse Grant Application. 

For a high-level overview of the ALA eCourse Grant program, please see our Step-By-Step Guide

The ALA eCourse Grant program supports Initiative 1 Goal 3 and Initiative 2 Goal 2 of the MLS Strategic Plan.

Conditions for the ALA eCourse Grant

This section contains the terms and conditions for the ALA eCourse Grant.  Please read this information thoroughly before submitting an ALA eCourse Grant Application.  There are six tabs of information:

  1. Introduction (the page you are currently on)
  2. Eligible Participants
  3. Eligible eCourses
  4. Application
  5. Approval
  6. Survey

MLS reserves the right to modify these conditions.  Contact us if you have any questions.  When applying for an ALA eCourse Grant, you will be asked to verify that you have read and understand this information.

All staff who are regularly employed by an MLS member library are eligible to apply.  

Both full time and part time staff are eligible to apply.  Substitutes are not eligible to apply.  

You must be regularly employed by an MLS member library both at the time you apply for a grant and the time that that your course begins.  

Unpaid library workers and supporters (including trustees, friends of the library, retirees, and volunteers) are not eligible to apply.

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.

ALA eCourse Grants allow MLS member library staff to take ALA eCourses at no cost to them. 

For purposes of the grant, any individual eCourse that is offered by ALA is eligible, provided:

  • The start date has not passed,
  • It currently has seats available, and
  • It is scheduled to begin in the next four months. 

Click on the following link to view all eCourses currently being offered by ALA. 

MLS will not consider requests to register for multi-eCourse bundles.  Only requests to register for individual eCourses will be considered.

MLS will not approve eCourses that have already started, do not have seats available, or that are scheduled to begin more than four months in the future.  

Use the following chart to determine whether the eCourse 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:
February, March, April, or May
February March, April, May, or June
March April, May, June, or July
May, June, July, or August
June, July, August, or September
June July, August, September, or October
August, September, October or November
September, October, November, or December
October, November, December, or January
November, December, January, or February
December, January, February, or March
January, February, March, or April

If you need to enroll in an eCourse that is scheduled to begin more than four months out, you must contact Sarah Donnelly (MLS's Event & Project Manager),, and receive approval before submitting your application, otherwise your application will be denied.

You must submit a complete ALA eCourse Grant Application at least 10 business days before the start of the eCourse 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 eCourse will be considered at the sole discretion of MLS.

Applications that are submitted or completed after the start of the eCourse 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, to check on the status of your application.

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 ALA eCourse Grant.  

If your application is approved, MLS will contact ALA and have them enroll you in the eCourse.  ALA will then enroll you in the eCourse and send you confirmation of your enrollment.

Please note: you should not register directly through ALA.  Individuals who register through ALA will not be reimbursed under this grant.  MLS will work directly with ALA to enroll you in the eCourse and handle payment on your behalf.  

Approval is based on a first-come, first-served, non-competitive basis.

You may take one ALA eCourse at a time.  If you wish to apply for approval to take an additional eCourse, you may submit your application before your current eCourse has ended.  However, your application will not be considered for approval until after you have completed the survey for your current eCourse.  The survey must be completed before the start of the subsequent eCourse for which you are applying.

You may receive approval to take up to six ALA eCourses every fiscal year (July 1 - June 30).

Once the funding budgeted for the ALA eCourse Grant program has has been spent for the fiscal year (July 1 – June 30), no additional ALA eCourse Grants will be considered during that fiscal year.

After your application has been approved, if you are unable to take the eCourse for any reason, you must inform MLS as soon as possible.

Within 30 days of the end of the ALA eCourse, you must complete an ALA eCourse 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 ALA eCourse Grant program and for reporting and marketing purposes. 

Required Forms (all links open in new windows)

Contact Us

For Applicants

MLS will use the email and telephone number that you include in your ALA eCourse Grant Application to communicate with you.  It is your responsibility to notify MLS of any changes to your email or telephone number.

Throughout the ALA eCourse Grant process, you will receive automated emails from  Please add this email to your Safe Senders List to ensure that notifications do not end up in your junk folder.  

General Questions

If you have any questions about the ALA eCourse Grant program, please contact:

Name Email Contact About
Sarah Donnelly
  • Application Process
Terry McQuown
  • Eligibility
  • Program Evaluation