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Oregon LSTA Grants

Help for applying and managing Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant funds through the State Library of Oregon.

Eligibility

All academic libraries, federally recognized tribes in the state of Oregon, K-12 school libraries, legally established public libraries and public library systems, and special libraries - as well as non-profit organizations partnering with Oregon libraries - are eligible to apply for project funding through a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Competitive Grant.

Non-profit organizations must also:

  • Be a non-profit entity registered with the Oregon Secretary of State's Corporation Division;
  • Have tax exempt status under the Internal Revenue Service Section 501(c)3, and have a federal tax identification number (FEIN); and
  • Have a Duns and Bradstreet (DUNS) number (or be able to obtain one by July 1 if awarded a LSTA grant).

Application review process

All final applications will be evaluated by the LSTA Advisory Council at their spring meeting, and the Council will make recommendations to the State Library Board on which projects should be funded (applicants will be notified of these recommendations as well). The Board will review the Council's recommendations at their spring meeting, and make final funding decisions at this meeting. Applicants will be notified of their final funding status no later than May 1. Successfully funded projects may begin July 1 and will end by June 30 of the following year.

The LSTA Advisory Council will evaluate each application based on the following criteria:

  • Project clearly meets one of the five goals of Oregon's current LSTA 5-Year Plan
  • Application clearly articulates the need or issue that the project will address
  • Application clearly articulates the goal / desired outcome that the project's activities will try to deliver
  • Project evaluation plan to measure intended outcomes is sound and the evaluation methods are appropriate
  • Scope of project is reasonable for a 1-year period (even if the overall project plan is for multiple years), and project plan has sufficient detail
  • Project staff have capacity and expertise to administer the project effectively
  • Communications / promotional plan for the project is adequate and appropriate
  • Budget is clear, sufficient, and LSTA-related costs are allowable under federal guidelines
  • Letters of support and/or other supporting documentation from project partners and/or the community involved

The State Library of Oregon will also perform a risk assessment of the applicant based on the following:

  • Does the applicant have any unresolved material findings from audits?

And if the applicant has previously received LSTA grant funding in the last 5 years...

  • Did the applicant submit all required reports in a timely manner?
  • Did the applicant submit all necessary documentation with claims for payment?
  • Did the applicant leave a substantial amount of the LSTA grant award (10% or more) unclaimed?
  • Did the applicant return claimed -- but unused -- grant funds following an internal audit after the close of the grant cycle?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I have an idea for a project, but I'm not sure about....?

Please reach out to State Library staff for feedback on your ideas and to get clarification on allowable costs!

What can I spend LSTA funds on?

There are a number of restrictions on how federal funds can be spent. You can wade through the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) Part 200 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards... or you can use this handy guide we've put together for the Oregon LSTA Program:

How will I measure my project's outcomes?

Every project is different, but it is very crucial to articulate the desired outcome(s) of your proposed project, and to also think about how you will be able to reasonably measure how your project delivered on those stated outcomes. Stating that your project helped 128 kids sign up for library cards is not an outcome, that's an output. An outcome would be something like, Of the 128 previously unserved families our project reached out to, 80% say they now use the library on a regular basis. An outcome is often reflected as a change in attitude and/or behavior.

A short and excellent article (written by librarians for librarians!) to help get you started thinking about outcomes is:

Hosseini-Ara, M., & Jones, R. (2013, June). Overcoming Our Habits and Learning to Measure Impact. Computers in Libraries, 33(5), Retrieved from http://www.infotoday.com/cilmag/jun13/Hosseini-Ara_Jones--Overcoming-Our-Habits-and-Learning-to-Measure-Impact.shtml

Alternately, the Institute of Museum of Library Services (IMLS) offers some wonderful context and examples of outcomes based evaluation practices in this Outcome Based Evaluation Basics guide on their website. Highly applicable to LSTA grant projects! :-)

Do I need matching funds to receive a LSTA grant?

No, we do not currently require projects to match grant requests with local or in-kind funding. However, it is always good to include these resources in your grant application budget, as it demonstrates that you have either found partners for your project (in the form of cash or in-kind support) or have thought deeply about the sometimes hidden costs that come with taking on a grant-funded project.

Can I include indirect costs in my request?

Yes, please do! Most applicants may include up to 10% indirect costs above the rest of your grant project's budget to be used for overhead-type costs: utilities, office supplies, staff time spent on grant administration, etc. If your institution or organization has a previously negotiated indirect cost rate in place with any federal agency, the State Library of Oregon is obligated to honor that indirect cost rate if your project is successfully funded (this typically applies to higher education institutions).

How much can I ask for?

There is no set limit for LSTA grant amount requests, except that we expect to allocate about $400,000 for the entire program in FY2020. Over the last 5 years, the average LSTA grant amount awarded was $49,603, and the median award amount was $38,214. Generally speaking, the average amount being requested has declined over the last several years, while the number of requests has remained level. There are typically between 10 and 15 LSTA Competitive Grant projects awarded each year.

We have a multi-year project in mind. How does that work?

The Competitive Grants Program is not designed to fund efforts indefinitely, and all projects must reapply for grant funding each year. That said, State Library staff, the LSTA Advisory Council, and the State Library Board recognize that sometimes a multi-year effort is truly necessary to achieve a long-term outcome in a community. Projects which demonstrate solid progress in their first year of grant funding may be viewed favorably during the application review process, however no ongoing funding is guaranteed through the Competitive Grants program.

My project has been funded! How do I get the money?

All LSTA Competitive Grant funds are distributed to grantees on a reimbursement basis. Your organization will be expected to expend funds locally and then submit periodic claims for reimbursement along with supporting documentation (receipts, timesheets, etc.).

I have a complaint or a concern about the LSTA Competitive Grants Program. How can I voice this concern?

Please submit concerns or complaints to Susan Westin, Program Manager for Library Support and Development Services, at susan.b.westin@state.or.us or 503-378-5435. Formal complaints will be forwarded to the LSTA Coordinator, the LSTA Advisory Council, and the State Librarian and a response will be made. You may also reach out to members of the State Library Board.