District of Columbia LSTA

District of Columbia LSTA

State Library of the District of Columbia

The primary mission of the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL) is to provide public library services to the residents of the District of Columbia. However, DCPL is also considered a state library administrative agency (SLAA).  As the SLAA for the District of Columbia, DCPL is responsible for carrying out the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants to States program in the District.

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants to States Program

The Library Services and Technology Act is a component of The Museum and Library Services Act of 2010.  The LSTA program is administered at the Federal level by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  It is the only federal program exclusively for libraries.  Under the requirements of the legislation, IMLS provides funds to state library administrative agencies using a population-based formula. (See the most current State Allotments.)  IMLS has been working with the SLAAs to develop focal areas to guide states in use of their funding. These six focal areas are:
  • Lifelong learning
  • Employment & economic development
  • Human services
  • Civic engagement
  • Information access
  • Library capacity building

LSTA Eligibility

To be eligible to receive LSTA funds, each SLAA must submit a five-year plan that outlines how the state agency intends to use LSTA funds in accordance with the LSTA priorities.  The five-year plan must include a needs assessment as well as goals, activities and processes that will be used to evaluate the state agencies' progress toward its goals.

DCPL’s LSTA Plan 2013-2017 includes five goals that align directly with five of the six focal areas identified by IMLS and cooperating SLAAs.  These goals are: 
  • 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 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.

LSTA sub-grants

Historically, DC Public Library’s LSTA program was administered largely internally, though planning for the program was conducted with input from the broader D.C. library community. In 2005, an LSTA Advisory Council was established, comprising representatives of different types of libraries in the District as well as end-users of libraries. A competitive sub-grant process was created with the first sub-grants awarded in 2006. The Advisory Council reviews and evaluates sub-grant applications on an annual basis, making recommendations to the Chief Librarian, who is also the State Librarian, on which proposals to fund.The State Librarian makes the final decision. DC Public Library’s Grants Specialist coordinates all aspects of its LSTA program. 

Previously funded projects

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