In 2019 LIANZA announced the creation of a central fund administered for the benefit of LIANZA members. The goal was to provide equitable access to funding and to support LIANZA community initiatives.

How was the fund been established?
The LIANZA Community Contestable Fund was created using a proportion of accumulated LIANZA SIGs and Regions funding as at June 30, 2019. The fund was established with the transfer of $60,000 into a separate fund account.

What has been funded?
The fund has provided four regional conference grants to the LIANZA 2019 Conference and recently five more regional conference grants to attend the LIANZA 2021 Conference.

A grant of $2000 was made to the dementia-friendly book club initiative in 2019-20 and the second grant of $2000 enabled a literature review focused on libraries in times of economic downturn in 2020-21. A project at Christchurch City Libraries on cross-cultural parenting groups to support settlement and family literacy gained $800 in funding in 2020-21.

What funds are available each year?
Each year the fund is boosted by the addition of interest on the fund, 5% of LIANZA personal member and student member income (excl GST) and any surpluses from budgeted LIANZA Communities in previous financial year.

An annual funding round enables all LIANZA communities to apply for funds. The maximum disbursement annually will be no greater than 70% of the annual contributions (incl interest) added to the fund during the previous income year. This will ensure that funds continue to be available into the future. The total available will be reviewed periodically to ensure the fund is providing maximum benefit to members.

Applications for the fund open in September-October each year.

Who can apply for funds?
All LIANZA regional communities and special interest communities are eligible to apply for the LIANZA Community Contestable Fund. LIANZA communities can opt to seek ideas or initiatives from LIANZA personal and institutional members who are part of their community and prioritise applications submitted for consideration.

The fund is also available to LIANZA communities working in partnership to launch an initiative and to LIANZA communities working in partnership with other GLAM sector organisations who can provide matched funding.  The fund cannot be used to fund LIANZA national initiatives.

Can I apply as an individual?
If you have an idea for an initiative that meets the eligibility criteria below, then approach your LIANZA regional community or special interest community and see if they support your idea. You can find contacts for these LIANZA communities at or ask LIANZA Office to put you in touch.

What can funds be used for?
The purpose of the contestable fund is to provide funding support for research, advocacy, community projects and new initiatives.

  • Research relevant to LIANZA incl joint summer research proposals with universities
  • Initiatives that will provide or produce resource(s), tools and knowledge to support LIANZA and its members
  • Community projects that publicly recognise LIANZA as a funder
  • Initiatives that demonstrate value or benefit for one or more LIANZA regional or special interest communities
  • Projects that seek funding for one or more years
  • Proposals that are future focused e.g. use of new technologies or strategies
  • Initiatives that build new partnerships with other sectors
  • Initiatives that expand current thinking about the role of libraries
  • Initiatives that build connections with communities
  • Professional development of an individual LIANZA member
  • Projects that only benefit one library, library service or organisation
  • Projects that are eligible for funding from existing LIANZA Grants and Awards
  • Requests to subsidise LIANZA community event income
  • Funds to support research towards a university degree

Selection criteria
The fund will seek to fund initiatives that;

  • are innovative and provide opportunities that have the potential to make a difference for New Zealand Aotearoa
  • contribute to the LIANZA vision, mission and strategic goals
  • demonstrate how the LIANZA community will benefit from the knowledge, information and connections generated
  • show how evidence will be generated and evaluated
  • demonstrate how partnerships with other groups or people will be used to change or enhance the initiative.

If you have an idea for an initiative that your LIANZA regional or special interest community could bid for, get in touch with them asap.

Applications are submitted to LIANZA Office on the LIANZA Community Contestable Fund Application Form and sent to

Selection process
The contestable fund applications are assessed by a selection panel of at least seven people, made up of representatives from LIANZA regional and special interest communities and LIANZA Council. The panel may decide to not to award funds if they consider that no applications fully meet the criteria.

The panel will submit a report with their recommendations, which will be approved by LIANZA Council.

The successful recipients or LIANZA community representatives will be expected to participate in any LIANZA publicity about the funds received and to share learning with the LIANZA community including submitting a short article for Library Life, a blog piece for Libraries Aotearoa, a LIANZA webinar and/or a research article for NZLIM Journal about their experience and learning

LIANZA Regional Community Conference Grants
A LIANZA Regional Conference Grant can be awarded to one member of each regional LIANZA Community. The grant will provide funds to subsidise attendance at (or travel to) the bi-ennial LIANZA conference.

Applications are called for in a conference year and are awarded nationally by a selection panel made up of representatives from each regional community.

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