LSTA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is LSTA?
Who is eligible for LSTA grant money?
How may LSTA grant funds be used?
What types of projects will you fund?
How much money can I request?
Can I use grant money to purchase materials?
Do I need to have a librarian on my project team?
Do I need to partner with another organization?
Who decides which grant applications to fund?
How do I apply?
Do I need to attend the LSTA workshop?
Who do I contact with questions about the grant application?




What is LSTA?
The Library Services and Technology Act -- LSTA -- is the major federal grant program for libraries.

 

Who is eligible for LSTA grant money?

  • Public libraries
  • Public elementary, secondary, and charter school libraries
  • Special libraries
  • Academic libraries




How may LSTA grant funds be used?
All projects or programs funded by LSTA money must correlate with one of the priorities specified in the Act or one of the goals set by the District of Columbia in its LSTA Plan 2013-2017. The LSTA priorities and the local District of Columbia goals offer a wide range of possibilities. Each application must state clearly which priorities or goals will be met by the project or program described. 

LSTA priorities relevant in the District of Columbia are to:

  • Expand services for learning and access to information and educational resources in a variety of formats, in all types of libraries, for individuals of all ages.
  • Develop public and private partnerships with other agencies and community-based organizations.
  • Target library services to individuals of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and to individuals with limited functional literacy or information skills.
  • Target library and information services to persons having difficulty using a library and to underserved urban and rural communities. 

DC Public Library goals:

  • Lifelong Learning – All District residents will have the reading skills, the information resources and the library services they need to succeed in school, at work, and in their daily lives.
  • Access to Information – All District residents will be able to locate and access library and information services and resources that are relevant to their lives through the provision of traditional reading materials, non-print media, online tools and electronic networks.
  • Employment and Economic Development – All District residents will have the knowledge, skills and tools they need to acquire productive and fulfilling employment.
  • Civic Engagement – All District residents will expand their involvement in community life as a result of participation in Library-based programs and participation in community-based programs held at the Library.
  • Library Capacity Building – All District residents will enjoy enhanced library and information services because library staff members have the knowledge, skills and competencies they need to offer high quality 21st century library services.



What types of projects will you fund?
IMLS encourages innovative programming. LSTA sub-grants provide libraries with an opportunity to think creatively and try something new. We offer a list of previously funded projects as well as a slideshow overview



How much money can I request?
LSTA sub-grants range from $5,000-$20,000.



Can I use grant money to purchase materials?
LSTA-funded projects must be program driven, not materials driven. However, grant funds can be used to purchase materials for your project. For example, you may purchase books to use for a new after-school book club. You may not purchase books solely to add to your collection. 



Do I need to have a librarian on my project team?
Yes, a librarian must be part of your project team. The grant funds library projects.



Do I need to partner with another organization?
Yes, all projects must involve a partnership between a library and another entity. Partnerships make for stronger programs and encourage your organization to reach out and make valuable connections within your community. Applications without partnerships will not be considered. 



Who decides which grant applications to fund?
After careful individual review of all proposals, the DC LSTA Advisory Council meets to discuss their findings and votes on which ones to recommend to the State Librarian for funding. The State Librarian makes the final decision.



How do I apply?
You can access the most recent LSTA grant application package online.



Do I need to attend the LSTA workshop?
No, attendance at the workshop is not mandatory; however, applicants are encouraged to attend. The LSTA coordinator will walk attendees through the application and application instructions.  Attendees will review successful grant application leads, ways to strengthen writing skills, and what constitutes allowable and non-allowable costs. Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask questions about their program/project ideas. 



Who do I contact with questions about the grant application?
The LSTA Coordinator can be reached via email at marcia.maziarz@dc.gov or by telephone at 202-727-1787.