|Time for Change|
The importance of program renewal and the need to provide recipients sufficient time to implement projects caused the DLT to review the WI grant cycle. The LSTA grant program has run on a January-December calendar year since 1998. Public libraries, public library systems, and municipalities manage their budgets on this cycle. Prior to that time the program functioned on assorted calendar cycles including July 1-June 30 (school calendar year) and October 1-September 30 (federal calendar year).
IMLS is subject to the passage of U.S. Congressional budgets to run the federal government. In recent years, budget agreements have been reached more frequently in February rather than October. This occurrence necessitates the distribution of grant awards to localities in March with the ending month in December. This is significant because the amount of time a library or library system has to implement a grant awarded project is greatly reduced.Rather than a twelve-month grant period, libraries and library systems then have nine (9) months to implement their projects. Abbreviating the time of implementation does not allow grant recipients sufficient time for significant project results to report in final evaluations. For this reason, the 2016 grant awards will be implemented beginning April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017.
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Terrie Howe, Public Library Development Team