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LSTA Grants

Allowable Costs

LSTA spending must adhere to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) Part 200 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

Generally, for a cost to be allowable for an LSTA grant award, the cost must be directly related and necessary to implement one or more of the approved LSTA priorities according to Oregon's LSTA 5-Year Plan. In addition, it must be reasonable and not specifically disallowed by the State or local laws or regulations.

Below are some common costs. Contact us if you have questions or need clarification.

Grant funds may be spent on:

  • Accessories and supplies that are necessary to support the project
  • Hardware, software, and/or technology necessary to support the project*
  • Subscriptions and licenses within the grant period
  • Consulting or contractual services (not construction-related)
  • Salaries, wages and/or benefits for temporary staff - or additional hours for existing staff - to be employed for the project (all hours must be documented with time cards)
  • Travel and/or training expenses related to the project for project staff (costs must be consistent with local fiscal agent policy; airfare generally coach or equivalent)
  • Costs of communicating with the public about the project
  • Training and education for employee development

* Note: Public libraries, elementary school libraries, and secondary school libraries applying to use funds for devices that access the Internet and/or for direct costs associated with accessing the Internet must certify CIPA compliance.

These costs are NOT allowed:

  • Construction or remodeling (generally, any activity involving contract labor in the construction trades is not allowable; this includes permanent structures and fixtures - such as fixed shelving - and projects that require building permits and/or inspections)**
  • General operating costs (rent, utilities, insurance, etc.)
  • Regular salaries, wages, and/or benefits for existing employees
  • Entertainment, ceremonies, receptions, or social events
  • Meals or refreshments (there may be exceptions for working lunches, or learning events - workshops, conferences, classes - where it is difficult for attendees to obtain meals locally)
  • Fundraising (includes financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses)
  • Lobbying or political advocacy (includes writing ballot measures and filing election paperwork)
  • Prizes or incentives (unless the item has no intrinsic value, e.g. a certificate)
  • Promotional items, including gifts and souvenirs
  • Foreign travel
  • Communicating with public about the library in general, unless doing outreach to target populations identified in LSTA legislation (individuals of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds; individuals with disabilities; individuals with limited functional literacy or information skills; persons having difficulty using a library; and underserved urban and rural communities, including children from families with incomes below the poverty line)
  • Overlapping project costs with any other pending or approved application(s) for federal funding and/or approved federal awards
  • Project costs and obligations incurred prior to or beyond the grant period, including subscription costs

**Note: When considering whether an activity might be considered construction, ask yourself these questions: How permanent is it? Is it movable/flexible/modular and a staff member could take it with them to another location? Would a staff member be able to assemble it with some basic tools like a screwdriver, or would it require contract labor?