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The Grants to States Program
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 set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan (see below). For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.
“We ask our libraries to match their funding requests to LSTA priorities when submitting their proposals. The next step is to make detailed oral presentations and, if accepted for the next stage, submit a final written application. At the statewide level we also plan to develop library staff’s presentation skills to position them as leader-partners with local government agencies in new initiatives.”
--California State Library
The Grants to States Program
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 set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan. For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.
Library Outreach to Veterans Initiative
The Pacific Library Partnership used grant funds to create Veterans Resource Centers (VRCs) in three pilot libraries where the local concentration of underserved veterans was high. Each library assessed the needs of its community’s veterans, military service members, and their families and customized its services accordingly. The VRCs were staffed by volunteers that local County Veterans Service Offices helped recruit and experts from the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) helped train. Together with reference staff, they helped veterans and their families connect with federal, state, and local resources, including the CalVet reintegration system related to benefit claims. By the end of the project period the three pilot sites logged nearly 2,500 veteran interactions and 63 completed integration forms. The project serves as a successful, replicable model for library services to veterans.
IMLS Funds: $80,180
Discover & Go, California!
Contra Costa County Library expanded its innovative downloadable museum pass service, Discover & Go, to ten libraries in Northern California and one in Southern California. The purpose was to make museum passes more accessible to residents with low household incomes and the culturally underserved. Through an easy-to-use customer interface, Discover & Go, California! provided library patrons with access to free or discounted passes to cultural venues in the County of Los Angeles and areas of Northern California. This larger network of museums and passes expands the original project for the benefit of all involved and demonstrates how libraries can make self-designed web services accessible to other library systems at a fraction of the cost of development.
IMLS Funds: $80,723
Other project(s) featured through IMLS media include:
- California State Library’s Veterans Connect @ the Library project: Community Salute: Libraries and their partners are a pathway to benefits for California Veterans
- Nevada County Library’s Focus on the Nisenan project: Focus on the Nisenan - Building Collaboration to Develop Local Indian Resources for a Rural Community and Bring Recognition to their Indigenous Peoples
- Contra Costa County Library’s War Ink project and California State Library’s Veteran's Resource Centers: California Libraries Pay Tribute to Veterans
- California State Library’s Family Place project: Your Friendly Neighborhood Library: An Inviting Space, a Family Place
- California State Library’s Get Involved: Powered By Your Library project: Get Involved: Powered By Your Library
- California State Library’s Transforming Life After 50 project (in partnership with Idaho Commission for Libraries, Oregon State Library, and Washington State Library) Transforming Life After 50: Public Libraries and Baby Boomers
- Sacramento Public Library's Preserving Our Present project: Preserving Our Present: Sacramento Teens Share Their Stories
Search the Awarded Grants Database for additional details about awards in this state.
Five-Year Plan Highlights
General Services and Initiatives
- Develop services and programs that support and encourage reading.
- Develop and deliver library services and programs that support lifelong learning opportunities, including digital, financial, and health literacy.
- Develop and support library services that respond to the changing needs of individuals as they move through the stages of life.
- Develop and support library services and programs that ensure access to information and resources for all language and cultural groups in a community.
- Develop and support early and emergent literacy services and programs.
- Develop and support adult literacy services and programs and literacy initiatives for those whose first language is not English.
Access to E-Resources
- Develop platforms that support the connection and distribution of content statewide.
- Increase the number of devices the public can use to access e-resources.
- Leverage resources for regional/statewide access to physical and digital content and to library services and information, including support for regional partnerships for the benefit of multiple communities.
- Develop and support services and programs that ensure access to library information and resources in geographically challenged areas.
- Ensure that California content is accessible nationally and internationally.
- Create and support new digital content in a format that ensures statewide compatibility, as well as universal access and preservation.
- Digitize existing library resources in a manner that achieves statewide compatibility and economies of scale, while ensuring universal access and preservation.
Economic and Employment Development
- Develop and deliver library services and programs that support individuals and communities in skills needed for workforce success.
- Support outreach to small business owners who would benefit from the use of library equipment, materials, and assistance to enhance or expand their business.
- Provide training and develop opportunities for library staff to ensure they are equipped to assist the public to acquire 21st century skills.
- Provide preservation training and programs that will ensure the best possible access to California heritage collections.
Marketing and Market Research
- Develop and support data correlation tools for better access to community data and decision-making.
- Create content using new technologies and mediums as they evolve.
- Create and support new digital tools to provide access to library and community content.
- Develop and support libraries as the local community hubs for broadband connectivity.
- Develop and support resources and partnerships to maximize connectivity speeds that match the needs of the community.
- Develop services and programs that support and encourage community.
- Develop and support projects among cultural institutions that enable access to the history and heritage of California communities.
- Help position libraries as centers for community engagement, at which conversations fostering understanding and positive change can be facilitated.
- Encourage libraries to leverage and maximize the skills and expertise of community members looking for volunteer opportunities.
Special Services for Special Needs
- Develop and support library programs and services that address the information and resource needs of veterans and their families.
- Develop and support programs and services that enable access to library information and resources for individuals who are blind or otherwise physically unable to use standard print and for those who depend on assistive technology for reading and computer use.
- Develop and support programs and services that ensure access to library information and resources for individuals who are institutionalized.
IMLS Data Collection
State Library Survey
The State Library Agency Survey (SLAA) provides descriptive data about state library agencies for all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
Public Library Survey
The Public Library Survey (PLS) provides national descriptive data on the status of public libraries in the United States and its territories. Data are collected from over 9,000 public library systems with over 17,000 public library outlets. Read California's profile (PDF, 343 KB) from the most recent PLS publication.