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 in the first years?
LIANZA jump started the fund with an additional amount of $6,000 made available in 2019-20. This fund supported four regional conference grants to the LIANZA 2019 Conference and two research projects. The dementia-friendly book club initiative received a grant of $2000 and began in late January, 2020 and involved twelve libraries around the country, with support from Dr Sally Remkiet and Dr Gillian Claridge, Dovetale Press. The readiness of facilitators to lead dementia friendly book groups in libraries is being assessed by Professor Anne Goulding and Dr Jennifer Campbell-Meier at Victoria University of Wellington and the funding being used to engage a research assistant to assist with literature review, questionnaire design, data analysis and transcriptions. The second grant of $2000 enabled a literature review focused on libraries in times of economic downturn. This review was written by Dr Lara Sanderson, is available to members and was the focus of a webinar in late July, 2020. In 2021 a project at Christchurch City Libraries on cross-cultural parenting groups to support settlement and family literacy gained funding.

What funds are available this 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.

The amount of funds available for the 2021-22 financial year will be made advised after June 30, 2021. 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.

Applications for the fund will be called for in September, 2021

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. The next round of applications will be in September, 2021.

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