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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.

Overall Purposes of LSTA (20 U.S.C. § 9121)

  • 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 efficient 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.

LSTA-specified Grants to States Priorities (20 U.S.C. § 9141)

  • 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.

Learn more about the Grants to States program.