New MBLC Direct Grant Round Begins


November 10, 2020
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is pleased to announce the FY2022 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. “Libraries continue to provide a wide variety of services to residents during unprecedented times. Response to issues relating to COVID-19, social justice, food insecurity, and education have highlighted the crucial role that all libraries play. These grants may support those efforts and offer libraries funding that can be used to meet unique local needs and interests,” 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. Opportunities that may be of specific interest this year include: Dig In! which establishes a nature space for learning at the library;  Civic Hub in which libraries support issue-oriented public programs and structured opportunities for discussion by serving as public forum and civic engagement ‘incubators’; Go Local gives public libraries the opportunity to develop projects using historical documents and artifacts to surface unknown stories, or deepen the contemporary record by capturing the experience of current residents, everyday life, or community events; and Health and Wellness in which libraries may take a broad approach in addressing health and wellness or focus on a particular subject, such as stress, aging, and nutrition.

 To start the grant process, applicants submit action plans, due December 1 and a letter of intent form, due December 3. .Applicants are encouraged to attend a virtual workshop on the application process held in January.  Awards made for this round will be announced in July 2021, and projects will begin no earlier than October 1, 2021.  Visit the MBLC website for more information including grant round calendar, listing of grant offeringsnd fact sheets about each grant offering.

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 and 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.