Friday, February 13, 2015

State Superintendent Approves LSTA Grant Awards For 2015

State Superintendent Tony Evers has approved Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program grants totaling approximately $2,659,963 million for 2015. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently awarded $2,663,262 funds as part of the Grants to States program. IMLS awards fund projects during a two year period.

The Wisconsin LSTA Advisory Committee met in DeForest November 19, 2014; to review the grant applications and make recommendations to the state superintendent on grant awards. Grant award letters will be sent out by the end of February 2015, following changes to federal regulations requiring monitoring and oversight.

Summary of LSTA grant programs funded:

Accessibility - $ 46,888 will be awarded to four public library systems; two library systems will assist member libraries in making their meeting rooms hearing accessible with the installation of hearing loops. Two library systems will use LSTA funds to plan for serving special service populations in their communities.

Delivery - $90,000 will help support the statewide delivery service backbone structure and delivery service to the libraries in the very northern part of the state.

Digital Creation Technologies - $94,060 will support nine projects to develop and improve library resources and services that promote digital creativity and learning for all ages.

Digitization of Library Historical Material - $37,576 will be awarded to support six projects providing online access to historical materials found in Wisconsin libraries. Libraries or library systems will manage projects and develop partnerships to scan and host unique local resources that can be located in Recollection Collection (formerly Wisconsin Heritage Online – WHO).

Library System Technology Projects - $360,000 will support 17 public library systems’ technology projects based on the needs of the systems and member libraries. The amounts, based on a formula of system area and population, are located in the 2015 LSTA Information and Guidelines on pages 20-21 (

Early Literacy - $60,839 will be used to promote and demonstrate the role of public libraries in providing early literacy services to children birth through age six and their caregivers for whom using a library is difficult. Six (6) projects will prioritize early literacy based on the needs of special populations for whom library use is limited or minimized

Learning Express Library License - $100,000 will support a statewide database license for Learning Express Library, an online source of work force development preparation materials for students and adults accessed through BadgerLink. The amount covers a license for January 1, 2015 - June 30, 2015, pending necessary approvals.
Learning Express Computer Module - $16,000 will support a statewide access to computer testing and skills module of the Learning Express Library database. The amount covers a license for January 1, 2015 - June 31, 2015, pending necessary approvals.

Growing Wisconsin Readers – Early Literacy Year #3 - $25,000 will support the third and final year of the initiative. Funds will be used to further develop Growing Wisconsin Readers training materials and publications, for Collaborative efforts with initiative partners to provide training and resources regarding parent/caregiver engagement and empowerment, to target support for early literacy needs of children in toxic stress environments, and to support libraries based on Year 2 survey feedback.

Youth Services Institute - $15,000 The Second Wisconsin Youth Services Leadership Development Institute will provide professional development and networking for librarians who serve babies, children, and teens in small to medium-sized public libraries.

Public libraries and public library systems submitted thirty (30) applications in five competitive categories to be implemented in 2015. Outside reviewers evaluated the applications; projects and grant rankings were reviewed by the Division staff and LSTA Advisory Committee at its meeting on November 19, 2014.

LSTA funds will also support resources and services provided by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Division for Libraries and Technology, including consulting services and interlibrary loan support.

Written by Terrie Howe, Public Library Development