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2005/06 LSTA grant awards now on California State Library website

A list of Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants awarded to date for 2005/06 is available on the LSTA page of the California State Library’s website. LSTA grant monies are funding at least 137 new and continuing grant projects covering a wide variety of library programming, service, and training needs statewide.

Among the programs that the State Librarian of California has approved are: literacy services to help ‘at-risk’ children succeed in school; librarians providing training classes for middle school and high school teachers about library electronic resources that can be taught to their students; creation of a public library internship program for teens so that they will consider librarianship as a potential career; creation of a mobile wireless network that will teach computer classes to rural county residents and help them obtain jobs and/or job promotions; and an after-school program of cultural activities for low-income middle school students.

LSTA is also underwriting training, scanning services, and other digitization-related costs for a targeted grant program that will digitize local history materials in 19 libraries located throughout the state. The Live Homework Help project has been expanded to include 28 public library jurisdictions offering a mix of in-library and offsite online tutoring services. Librarians’ Index to the Internet, the Infopeople Project, the Rural Initiative, Califa, the California Library Literacy Services (CLLS) Literacy Initiatives, the OCLC FirstSearch California Libraries Catalog, and Public Library Staff Education Program (PLSEP) are a few of the continuing projects that are also receiving LSTA funding. A few grant awards are still pending, including the participating libraries for the Reach Out and Read targeted grant program. Grant applications are currently being reviewed and award decisions will be made in the near future.

The U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the federal agency responsible for overseeing LSTA, but state library agencies administer it at the state level. LSTA provides local assistance grants to California and the other states, but the funds must be spent according to a five-year state plan approved by IMLS. The current state plan covers LSTA grants from fiscal years 2002/03 to 2006/07 and includes the following goals:

 Provide equitable access to lifelong learning;
 Improve patron use of technology resources;
 Foster a trained, proficient library work force;
 Improve services to people with disabilities; and
 Revise library service to best assist Californians.

For further information about the LSTA program, visit the LSTA page on the California State Library (CSL) website. Or you may contact Christopher Berger, CSL LSTA coordinator, CSL, at (916) 653-8313 or cberger@library.ca.gov; or contact Tom Andersen, CSL Library Development Services bureau chief at (916) 653-7391 or tandersen@library.ca.gov.
  

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