Getting Ready for 2021 Keystone Grants for Public Library Facilities | Compendium

Getting Ready for 2021 Keystone Grants for Public Library Facilities

  • The Office of Commonwealth Libraries anticipates opening a Keystone Grants for Public Library Facilities grant round on Monday, July 26, 2021.
  • Applications submission deadline would be Friday, October 29, 2021 at midnight, with notification of application award status made in March 2022.
  • The Keystone contract term is expected to be April 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023, so applications should reflect project work beginning and completing within that timeframe. 

IMPORTANT! New Application Submission Platform 

  • The application will be completed and submitted using the Commonwealth’s eGrants grant management system.
  • This is an electronic system; physical applications will no longer be submitted via mail.
  • Training opportunities for the new process will be announced by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries in the near future.
  • In order to use the eGrants platform, certain steps must be completed in advance.


  • If you intend to apply for a Keystone grant, the first item that should be addressed immediately is obtaining an AUN (Auxiliary Unit Number) for the municipality that will be applying.
  • This number must be provided to the Office of Commonwealth Libraries in order to set up access to the eGrant system.
  • Instructions for obtaining the AUN, as well as additional important information, are available on the Getting Ready to Apply page.

VERY IMPORTANT! When the AUN has been obtained:

  • Please send the AUN, with the Municipal Contact’s name and email,  in an email to with the subject line: Keystone 2021 AUN.
  • When access has been granted, the municipal contact will receive an email with instructions on logging into the system and accessing the application.

Please note that the Municipality who partners with the Library in submitting the application will be the actual grantee. For this reason, most information required in the Getting Ready to Apply steps pertains to the Municipal Applicant, not the Library. Except for the AUN, the municipality may already have some or all of the numbers and/or other requirements mentioned at the link above.

IMPORTANT! New PHMC Submission Platform

  • A requirement of the Keystone award is approval of the project site from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC).
  • This approval is obtained via the SHPO (State Historic Preservation Office) environmental review form.
  • This approval must be provided as a required attachment to the Keystone application.
  • The SHPO form must be submitted regardless of the scope or type of Keystone project you are planning.

Keystone applicants must obtain access to the PA-SHARE platform in order to submit the required SHPO form.

Using PA-SHARE to Consult with PA SHPO under Section 106 or Pennsylvania History Code

(PHMC is entirely independent of the Office of Commonwealth Libraries. All questions and issues regarding PA-SHARE or submitting the review form should be directed to the appropriate agency.) 

Notify Your District Consultant and System Administrator (if applicable)

If you intend to apply for a Keystone grant, please notify the Library’s District Consultant. If the library is a system member, the System Administrator should be consulted as well. Both persons are required to supply a Letter of Support with the application. Keystone policy states that the application must be developed in consultation with the District Consultant. The Consultant should be provided access to the application at least 2 weeks before submitting it in order to review your content and offer any guidance or suggestions. (Your municipality’s eGrant administrator will be able to allow the Consultant access after your eGrant account is set up.) 

About the Keystone Grant

The Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund was established by an act of the General Assembly in 1993. The Department of Education, through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Bureau of Library Development, administers the public library portion of this program which is funded from a portion of the state’s realty transfer tax.

Grants pay up to 50 percent of eligible costs in planning, acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of public libraries. A competitive grant application process is used to award grants to municipalities that sponsor state-aided public libraries. To be eligible, the sponsoring municipality and the board of the state-aided library must submit an application developed cooperatively by both entities and signed by their governing bodies. The Keystone grant requires a dollar-for-dollar match and may be requested in any amount up to $750,000. Additional information may be found on the Keystone webpage, including grant guidelines and the regulations which govern the program.

Questions about the  program may be directed via email to or by calling Ed Lupico, Keystone Program Coordinator, at 717-783-5747.