Grants to State Library Administrative Agencies
Deadline: If needed, revisions to the Five-Year Plan are due April 2 each year.
Grant Amount: Individual State Library allotments based on population
Grant Period: Allotments may be expended over a 24-month period
Laurie C. Brooks, Associate Deputy Director
Read more about the Grants to State Library Administrative Agencies Program on the IMLS Web site
For more than 50 years, the LSTA Grants to States Program and its predecessors have supported the delivery of library services in the United States. Few public sector agencies in the country have been as responsive as libraries to the extreme shifts brought on by the information age. Rapid changes in information technology resulted in significant reorganization of library work and major changes to library service in public, academic, school, and research settings. Over this period, libraries expanded their traditional mission of collecting and circulating physical holdings to one that also provides access to computers, software, and a host of new services, including an ever-increasing pool of digital information services.
The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula. SLAAs may use federal funds to support statewide initiatives and services; they also may distribute the funds through subgrant competitions or cooperative agreements to public, academic, research, school, and special libraries in their state. The program has the benefit of building the capacity of states to develop statewide plans for library services and to evaluate those services every five years.
SLAAs located in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau are eligible to submit five-year plans and receive funding from the Grants to States program. For information about funding opportunities at the state level, contact the specific SLAA.
The overall purposes of the Library Services and Technology Act are to
- enhance coordination among federal programs that relate to library and information services;
- promote continuous improvement in library services in all types of libraries in order to better serve the people of the United States;
- facilitate access to resources in all types of libraries for the purpose of cultivating an educated and informed citizenry;
- encourage resource sharing among all types of libraries for the purpose of achieving economical and effi cient delivery of library services to the public;
- promote literacy, education, and lifelong learning and to enhance and expand the services and resources provided by libraries, including those services and resources relating to workforce development, 21st century skills, and digital literacy skills;
- enhance the skills of the current library workforce and to recruit future professionals to the field of library and information services;
- ensure the preservation of knowledge and library collections in all formats and to enable libraries to serve their communities during disasters;
- enhance the role of libraries within the information infrastructure of the United States in order to support research, education, and innovation; and
- promote library services that provide users with access to information through national, state, local, regional, and international collaborations and networks.
The Act specifies the following priorities for the Grants to States program:
- 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 in order to support such individuals' needs for education, lifelong learning, workforce development, and digital literacy skills;
- establish or enhance electronic and other linkages and improved coordination among and between libraries and entities for the purpose of improving the quality of and access to library and information services;
- provide training and professional development, including continuing education, to enhance the skills of the current library workforce and leadership, and advance the delivery of library and information services;
- enhance efforts to recruit future professionals to the field of library and information services;
- 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, including children (from birth through age 17) from families with incomes below the poverty line (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget and revised annually in accordance with section 9902(2) of title 42) applicable to a family of the size involved;
- develop library services that provide all users access to information through local, state, regional, national, and international collaborations and networks; and
- carry out other activities consistent with the purposes set forth in section 9121, as described in the SLAA's plan.
State library administrative agencies located in one of the 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau are eligible to submit five-year plans. For information about funding opportunities at the state level, contact the specific state library administrative agency.