MBLC Announces New LSTA Grants


November 10, 2015
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is pleased to announce the FY 2017 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant round. The MBLC uses federal LSTA funding to provide direct grants to libraries that allow them to offer innovative services to local residents.

"At a time when local budgets are stretched thin, federal LSTA grants help libraries develop much-needed programs and services," said Cindy Roach, head of library advisory and development at the MBLC. The focus of the MBLC's federal grant program continues to be projects that encourage cooperation and meet the needs of the diverse libraries and library users in the Commonwealth.

New grant opportunities for FY 2017 include Citizenship Corners & Expanded English Language Services to New Americans, which will help libraries develop a range of services for immigrant populations; Mind in the Making to assist libraries in creating or enhancing play spaces for children ages 0-6; Financial Literacy for all ages; and Framework for Health Literacy.

"MBLC staff have adapted some of the most innovative approaches and programs in the nation and incorporated them into grant opportunities that are relevant and timely to our residents," Ms. Roach said.

Libraries have used LSTA grants to develop STEM and STEAM programming and to expand career and job services. Many libraries have also used the grants to digitize local historic collections, making them freely accessible to everyone through the Digital Commonwealth. These grants are again available to libraries, along with many other opportunities.

To start the grant process, applicants submit a completed letter of intent form. Letters of intent are due by December 8, 2015 and are reviewed by the MBLC for eligibility. The MBLC awards LSTA grant money through an open competitive grant process.

Awards made for this round will be announced in July 2016 and projects will begin no earlier than October 1, 2016. Please visit the MBLC website for more information as well as the grant round calendar, letter of intent form, the complete listing of FY 2017 programs, and fact sheets about each grant opportunity.

In addition to direct library grants, the MBLC uses federal LSTA funding to support statewide library services and resources including the Commonwealth eBook Collections, the Commonwealth Catalog, preservation and disaster recovery in cultural institutions, online research resources, and the statewide library resource website for residents. Federal funding also assists small libraries in participating in one of the state's nine networks that improve technology in local libraries and make automated library services efficient and affordable.

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.