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Purposes and Priorities of the Library Services and Technology Act
The purposes and priorities outlined in the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) are reflected in the Five-Year Plans submitted by each State Library Administrative Agency (SLAA) and in the over 1,500 annual projects that are supported through the Grants to States program.
Purpose of LSTA (20 U.S.C. § 9121)
- Enhance coordination among Federal programs that relate to library, education, 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 efficient delivery of library services to the public;
- Promote literacy, education, and lifelong learning, including by building learning partnerships with school libraries in our Nation’s schools, including tribal schools, and developing resources, capabilities, and programs in support of State, tribal, and local efforts to offer a well-rounded educational experience to all students;
- Enable libraries to develop services that meet the needs of communities throughout the Nation, including people of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, individuals with disabilities, residents of rural and urban areas, Native Americans, military families, veterans, and caregivers;
- Enable libraries to serve as anchor institutions to support community revitalization through enhancing and expanding the services and resources provided by libraries, including those services and resources relating to workforce development, economic and business development, critical thinking skills, health information, digital literacy skills, financial literacy and other types of literacy skills, and new and emerging technology;
- Enhance the skills of the current library workforce and recruit future professionals, including those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, to the field of library and information services;
- Ensure the preservation of knowledge and library collections in all formats and 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;
- Promote library services that provide users with access to information through national, State, local, regional, and international collaborations and networks; and
- Encourage, support, and disseminate model programs of library and museum collaboration.
Grants to States (20 U.S.C. § 9141)
- Expand services for learning and access to information and educational resources in a variety of formats (including new and emerging technology), in all types of libraries, for individuals of all ages in order to support such individuals' needs for education, lifelong learning, workforce development, economic and business development, health information, critical thinking skills, digital literacy skills, and financial literacy and other types of literacy skills;
- Establish or enhance electronic and other linkages and improved coordination among and between libraries and entities, as described in 20 U.S.C. § 9134(b)(6), for the purpose of improving the quality of and access to library and information services;
- (A) 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; and (B) Enhance efforts to recruit future professionals, including those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, to the field of library and information services;
- Develop public and private partnerships with other agencies, tribes, and community-based organizations;
- Target library services to individuals of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, to individuals with disabilities, 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 20 U.S.C. § 9121, as described in the State library administrative agency's plan.
Learn more about the Grants to States program.