MBLC Announces New LSTA Grants


November 08, 2018
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
1-800-952-7403 x240

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is pleased to announce the FY 2020 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.

“Massachusetts libraries have a great history of taking advantage of LSTA funding to produce unique and informative programming for their residents” said Rob Favini, head of library advisory and development at the MBLC. “We are very excited by this new grant round and the opportunities that are presented through our new and revised grant offerings.”

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. A diverse array of grants help libraries focus on topics, populations, or programs that help address specific needs specific to the library’s community.

New for FY2020 is the Strength in Families: Fostering Family Engagement in the Community grant which encourages libraries to create or build on existing partnerships with community organizations that share a similar mission. This includes schools, museums, early learning systems, and community agencies that provide family support.

A grant that was revised for FY2020 is Health and Wellness. Formerly the Framework for Health Literacy grant, it has been renamed to more accurately reflect the scope and emphasize libraries positions as a trusted resource to impact vulnerable and marginalized populations by encouraging partnerships with relevant organizations including local hospitals and clinics, Councils on Aging, and other appropriate health or community agencies.

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 6, 2018 and are reviewed by the MBLC for eligibility. The MBLC awards LSTA grant money through an open competitive grant process. Final grant proposals are due February 21, 2019.

Awards made for this round will be announced in July 2019 and projects will begin no earlier than October 1, 2019. Please visit the MBLC website for more information as well as the grant round calendar, letter of intent form, the complete listing of FY 2019 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 the Commonwealth Catalog, preservation and disaster recovery in cultural institutions, online research databases in conjunction with the Massachusetts Library System, 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.