Tuesday, March 1, 2016

State Superintendent Approves LSTA Grant Awards For 2016

State Superintendent Tony Evers has approved the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program grants totaling approximately $2,744,010 for 2016. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently awarded 2,670,703 funds to Wisconsin as part of the Grants to States program. IMLS awards fund projects during a two year period (October 1, 2015-September 30, 2017).

The Wisconsin LSTA Advisory Committee met in DeForest November 10, 2015 to review the grant applications and make recommendations to the State Superintendent on grant awards. Letters from Superintendent Evers as well as the grant award notification contract will be in the mail shortly.
This is the first year that the LSTA federal sub-award schedule has changed since 1998. Grant activities for 2016 will be administered from April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017. This change is to allow grant recipients twelve months to complete the planned activities and obtain noticeable outcomes to report to the federal government agency (IMLS) that funds the grants.

The schedule change was a result of many years that the federal budget decisions in the U.S. Congress were delayed. When this occurred, the Division for Libraries and Technology did not receive funds until February or March resulting in nine (9) months for library locations to implement a twelve (12) month grant program.

Grant Awards logo courtesy of Akron, OH Public Schools
Grant Awards logo courtesy of the Akron public schools
Below is an abbreviated summary of select LSTA grant programs:

Accessibility – More than $89,000 will be awarded to eight (8) public libraries and public library systems; two library systems will spend the year planning future projects with member libraries to understand the issues dealing with the unemployed, underemployed, and those persons living in poverty. Other projects are designed to work with special populations including immigrants, care givers for persons with dementia, hearing impairments, and those with digital literacy needs.

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

Digital Creation Technologies – $95,280 will support nine (9) projects to develop and improve services in and out of libraries that promote digital creativity and learning for all ages. Several projects are designed to be mobile.

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) – $50,000 will support a staff position necessary to meet the minimum requirements of participation in the DPLA. This position will be responsible for providing consulting and training to new content contributors, conducting outreach and building community engagement, coordinating metadata compliance, facilitating communication among partners, managing policy and procedures documents and acting as liaison to DPLA staff.

Library System Technology Projects – $350,000 will support 17 public library systems’ technology projects based on the needs of member libraries within regions of the state.

Literacy – Almost $50,000 will be used to promote and demonstrate the role of public libraries in providing literacy services for the young library users as well as adults, the Hispanic/Latino community, and the incarcerated.  All populations have needs for which the use of the library is limited or minimized.

Merging Integrated Library Systems – $12,000 will assist in funding the merger of Lakeshores Library System’s integrated library system with Kenosha County Library System’s automation system to share catalogs among a larger population.

School Library eBook Project – $15,000 will fund a pilot project of school libraries to identify logistical, licensing, and operational issues for e-Book purchases by school library consortia.

Wisconsin Public Library Coding Project – $20,000. In an effort to increase awareness of the whys and hows of coding in the public library community, Division staff will begin a three-year project to focus on the development of materials and resources to support awareness of coding for public library staff and regional system staff. In the first year this will be done through the development of a website, video, online training module, and in-person learning experiences such as a coding petting zoo, regional library system training, and system consulting visits.

Youth & Special Services Continuing Education Projects – $25,000. There will be two projects to develop youth services (early childhood through teens) and special services (all ages) in public libraries through focused state/system/library support.

Project 1: Multi-system Focus Area Continuing Education $15,000 Based on a 2015 pilot project, the Public Library Development Team (PLDT) will provide financial and material resources to support collaborative multi-system continuing education (CE) youth and special services projects.
Project 2: Community-based Early Childhood Family Engagement $10,000 PLDT will offer continued support for public library early literacy efforts established or enhanced by the Growing Wisconsin Readers initiative. Funding will sustain early childhood collaborations by emphasizing connections between state/systems/libraries and state/regional/local agencies.

The list of funded grants will be linked on the LSTA web page. The full list of grants and information will be posted by the end of this week. Additionally there will be a page linked to the grant abstracts for the 2016 LSTA awarded grants.

Written by
Terrie Howe, Public Library Development Team