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Writing a Winning LSTA Application. Jessica Jacko Barnes Indiana State Library. LSTA Grants… aka FREE MONEY for your LIBRARY!. Introduction. Who has applied for a grant? Who has obtained a grant? Who was the funder?. All about LSTA Grants. What are LSTA funds?.

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writing a winning lsta application

Writing a Winning LSTA Application

Jessica Jacko Barnes

Indiana State Library

introduction
Introduction
  • Who has applied for a grant?
  • Who has obtained a grant?
  • Who was the funder?
what are lsta funds
What are LSTA funds?
  • Through the Grants to States program, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies.
how does the imls allocate funds
How does the IMLS allocate funds?
  • Funds are distributed to states annually based on population.
  • In 2010, Indiana received over 3.5 million dollars from the IMLS for library services.
update a word on the budget
UPDATE- A word on the budget
  • The IMLS, who awards LSTA funds, is a federal agency.
  • Delays in passing a federal budget have delayed our 2011 grants (application, timeline and funding).
  • Grants will be awarded in two rounds this year. Initial awards were made in March, the rest will follow after we receive allotment from the IMLS.
  • We expect to see even more cuts to our 2012 LSTA budget.
what are lsta funds used for
What are LSTA funds used for?
  • The Indiana State Library uses this money to support statewide initiatives and services.
    • i.e. INSPIRE, Evergreen, Talking Books
  • We also distribute the funds through competitive sub-grants to public, academic, school, or special libraries.
what kinds of grants are available
What kinds of grants are available?
  • Technology
    • For libraries who wish to provide their users with new and improved technology.
      • Examples: Purchasing new computers or eReaders.
  • Indiana Memory/Digitization
    • For libraries who want to help preserve Indiana’s historical records and artifacts.
  • Innovative
    • Reserved for projects utilizing emerging technologies to better serve patrons. Project must truly be innovative – these are not commonly awarded.
  • Information Access for the Unserved
    • Grants assist public libraries in providing library services to unserved and underserved populations.
how much money is available
How much money is available?
  • Technology
    • $10,000 per grant with up to $325,000 available
  • Digitization
    • $20,000 per grant with up to $150,000 available
  • Innovative
    • Up to $500,000 per sub-grant
  • Information Access for the Unserved
    • $3 per new patron served (rarely awarded)
when can i apply
When can I apply?
  • Grant guidelines and applications are typically posted in October/November.
  • Applications for Technology and Digitization grants are due in January/February.
  • Decisions are typically made by April, and spending can begin after contracts are finalized (usually by June).
  • Innovative and Unserved grant applications are accepted at any time and are on a rolling deadline.
a sample grant timeline
A sample grant timeline

November 2011

February 2012

April-June 2012

October 2013

Spend…Report…Spend…Report…Spend…

what can grant money be used for
What can grant money be used for?
  • Computers
    • Laptops
    • Netbooks
    • iPads
    • E-readers
  • Monitors
  • Printers
  • Networking equipment
  • Overhead projectors
  • MP3 Players
  • Software
  • Servers
  • Installation costs
  • Consultant costs
  • Salaries for new project staff
  • And more!
a few things to keep in mind
A few things to keep in mind…
  • LSTA grants are reimbursement grants.
  • A local match of 10% is required for all projects.
    • For example- your library will need to spend $1000 for every $10,000 in grants you receive.
      • i.e. Total cost of $10,000 project would be at least $11,000.
      • Can be cash or services.
a few more things to keep in mind
A few more things to keep in mind…
  • Grant money can not be used to pay ongoing operating costs or salaries for existing employees.
    • Your 10% match can pay wages for time spent on project.
  • At this time, grants for furniture (including computer desks/chairs) are not likely to be approved.
    • Your 10% match could pay for these items.
cipa requirements
CIPA Requirements
  • Any library purchasing computers that will be available to children must certify that they are CIPA-compliant.
evidence of a compelling need
Evidence of a compelling need
  • Why should YOU receive a grant?
    • Evidence is provided to support need:
      • “Our library is still using Windows 98 and we are unable to upgrade or install any new software.”
      • “Wait times for public computers currently exceed 45 minutes during peak times.”
      • “There are not enough computers in media center to accommodate our teachers who bring students in for their research curriculum.”
where to get facts and figures
Where to get facts and figures
  • Census data
  • State library website
  • State library public library consultants
  • Schools – superintendent or principal
  • You can also conduct your own research
    • Surveys
    • Focus groups
a clear objective and plan
A clear objective and plan
  • All objectives clearly stated and match need.
  • The timetable for the project is thorough and realistic.
  • The project is likely to continue after the grant period.
a plan for evaluation
A plan for evaluation
  • What will your project accomplish and how will you measure it?
  • You must be committed to evaluating outcomes.
    • Changes in people’s behavior
    • Enhanced access to information
    • Increased knowledge
a sound budget
A sound budget
  • Budget and price quotes are reasonable.
  • All items or services budgeted for are clearly tied to project activities and objectives.
  • Helpful to attach quotes for technology/services.
bonus points available
Bonus points available!
  • Partnerships are preferred.
    • Teaming up with another local library or institution.
    • Any project that will increase participation in statewide resource sharing
  • …If project supports instruction for people with limited computer experience.
    • “Digital immigrants”
  • …If funds will help applicant meet the new Public Library Standards for technology.
brag about your grant
Brag about your grant
  • Let us know how you plan to publicize your project and LSTA grant.
    • Press releases
    • Newspaper ads
    • Library website
    • Library newsletter
    • Flyers/bookmarks at library
    • Direct mailing
    • Scholarly article/presentation
    • Launch reception/party

$$$$$$$$

even more tips for getting your grant
Even more tips for getting your grant
  • Match your grant to the goals of the funder.
    • All LSTA grants must support ISL’s Five-Year Plan
  • Thoroughly read the grant guidelines.
  • Check deadlines!
  • Ask someone else to review your proposal.
learn obpe
Learn OBPE
  • Outcomes Based Planning & Evaluation (OBPE)
  • A free self-paced tutorial at the Shaping Outcomes website will walk you through the process of planning an evaluative user-centered project.
  • The LSTA Toolkit is another excellent resource for OBPE instruction and templates.
when are grants not funded
When are grants NOT funded?
  • No apparent project- application is simply a technology wish list.
  • Not enough planning and preparation went into completing the application.
  • The goals of the project do not align with State and Federal goals.
  • The project did not meet the criteria specified in the guidelines.
  • Insufficient and incomplete answers were given to the questions.
more reasons for not funding
More reasons for not funding
  • Need/importance is not evident or proven.
  • Plan of action is incomplete.
  • Project is too ambitious- will take much more time, cost more, and requires more staff than proposal indicates.
  • The project is not likely to be continued beyond the grant period.
  • Budget items not clearly tied to project activities/objectives.
if your grant isn t funded
If your grant isn’t funded…
  • Ask for feedback!
  • Try again- priorities change from year to year.
quiz time
Quiz time!

Who gets the grant?

who is more likely to get a grant
Who is more likely to get a grant?

“Our patrons tell us our library really needs more computers.”

vs.

“With our town’s unemployment rate at 15% and rising, we have seen increased wait times for public computers. Some patrons have waited as long as 90 minutes. We have observed that at least one-third of our patrons are using our computers to apply for jobs or prepare resumes.”

who is more likely to get a grant1
Who is more likely to get a grant?

We would like more computers so we can teach computer classes.

vs.

“We conducted a survey in June of 2010 and 75% of the 120 respondents said they would be interested in attending classes on Microsoft Word ... With the new computers in place, our adult reference librarian will offer a weekly technology workshop.

who is more likely to get a grant2
Who is more likely to get a grant?

“We will survey patrons about the new computers.”

vs.

“All patrons who log in to our public computers in the month of August 2011 will be asked to complete a brief pop-up survey about their computer usage. They will be asked if they are using the computers for job searching, research, or personal use.”

questions comments
Questions/Comments?

Jennifer Clifton

Indiana State Library

LSTA Grant Consultant

jclifton@library.in.gov

(317) 234-6550

LSTA Website:

http://www.in.gov/library/lsta.htm