New LSTA Grant Round Opens


November 12, 2019
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is pleased to announce the FY2021 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 for local residents. “Local funding can sometimes be stretched thin, federal LSTA grants help libraries develop much needed programs and services,” said Rob Favini, 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 that meet the needs of the diverse libraries and library users in the Commonwealth.

Grant opportunities are available to public, academic, school, and special libraries. New this year are: At the Table: Culinary Literacy in your Community which helps communicate the impact that food has on one’s health, environment, and community; Dig In!: Growing Libraries with Gardens and Nature-based Learning Spaces which establishes a garden at the public library that will serve as a teaching space; Managing Fine and Decorative Arts which addresses the need for public libraries to better understand and preserve their art collections and to promote access to the collections; and Protecting Priority Collections which addresses the gap between preservation assessments and preservation actions.

To start the grant process, applicants submit a letter of intent form.  Letters of intent are due December 5, 2019 and are reviewed by the MBLC for eligibility. Applicants may also attend a workshop on the application process held in January.  Awards made for this round will be announced in July 2020, and projects will begin no earlier than October 1, 2020.  Visit the MBLC website for more information including grant round calendar, listing of grant offerings and fact sheets about each grant offerings.

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

The MBLC’s LSTA program is developed and reviewed by MBLC staff working in collaboration with the State Advisory Council on Libraries, a council of library users and librarians from public, academic, school, institutional an special libraries, as well as libraries serving persons with disabilities. More information about LSTA is available on the MBLC website.

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.