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LSTA Grants for Public Libraries: LSTA Continuing Education Grants

Information about the LSTA program, instructions and forms for public libraries seeking sub-grants, and tips for evaluation of grant-funded services

Continuing Education (CE) Grants

CE Grants for conferences and classes taking place August 2023 through August 2024 are OPEN. 

Note on mileage reimbursement: For grants with travel that includes mileage (driving a car instead of flying), the rate of reimbursement is 67 cents/mile.  

1.  Applications will be accepted for conferences and multi-session online or in-person courses. One-time webinars or one-session classes will not be funded at this time. See the guidelines for award amounts.

2. CE grants are available only for staff in public libraries in the current grant cycle. No grants are available for academic or school librarians in FFY23.

Library Conferences: Real Value for Library Staff and the Public We Serve

Why attend conferences? We all like to travel and see new places; but how useful are conferences for library staff?

The South Carolina State library believes that encouraging library staff to take part in gatherings of library professionals at the state and national level will result in better informed, more enthusiastic, more highly skilled library workers. Conferences can excite and motivate, inform and enlighten. Conferences help expand library worker’s understanding of and currency with library trends and practices. They provide an opportunity to attend sessions that will contribute to the employee’s skills and knowledge base. Conferences allow library staff to network and enlarge their contact with colleagues statewide and nationwide.

Conference-going is not a frill, but a necessary element in the continuing education of library staff. The State Library’s goal is to create channels through which library workers can communicate the excitement and the experience of going to a conference, and share what was learned with colleagues and co-workers, leading to overall improvement in services to library users.

What Conferences Are Available For Library Staff?

There are conferences designed for just about every kind of library worker. For public library staff, the biggies on the national scene are “ALA” and “PLA” – that is, the American Library Association Conference, held annually, and the Public Library Association Conference which occurs every other year. PLA tends to be smaller and more focused on issues that interest public library workers. ALA has something for every kind of librarian!

Check our listing for upcoming conferences you may be interested in attending in the box to the right.

IMPORTANT - Please read before applying for LSTA funds

Grants of Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds are available for library staff wishing to expand their professional knowledge by attending a professional conference such as SCLA, PLA, or ALA. Reimbursement of related expenses is available for conference attendance that allows librarians to develop, expand, deliver, or promote services and programs that are related to the Federal purposes.*

* The Federal purposes as outlined in LSTA (20 U.S.C. 9141) are:

  1. Enhance coordination among Federal programs that relate to library, education, and information services;

  2. Promote continuous improvement in library services in all types of libraries in order to better serve the people of the United States;

  3. Facilitate access to resources in all types of libraries for the purpose of cultivating an educated and informed citizenry;

  4. Encourage resource sharing among all types of libraries for the purpose of achieving economical and efficient delivery of library services to the public;

  5. Promote literacy, education, and lifelong learning, including by building learning partnerships with school libraries in our Nation’s schools, including tribal schools, and developing resources, capabilities, and programs in support of State, tribal, and local efforts to offer a well-rounded educational experience to all students;

  6. Enable libraries to develop services that meet the needs of communities throughout the Nation, including people of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, individuals with disabilities, residents of rural and urban areas, Native Americans, military families, veterans, and caregivers;

  7. Enable libraries to serve as anchor institutions to support community revitalization through enhancing and expanding the services and resources provided by libraries, including those services and resources relating to workforce development, economic and business development, critical thinking skills, health information, digital literacy skills, financial literacy and other types of literacy skills, and new and emerging technology;

  8. Enhance the skills of the current library workforce and recruit future professionals, including those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, to the field of library and information services;

  9. Ensure the preservation of knowledge and library collections in all formats and enable libraries to serve their communities during disasters;

  10. Enhance the role of libraries within the information infrastructure of the United States in order to support research, education, and innovation;

  11. Promote library services that provide users with access to information through national, State, local, regional, and international collaborations and networks; and

  12. Encourage, support, and disseminate model programs of library and museum collaboration.


Purposes from

LSTA Administration

For additional information on LSTA grants in South Carolina, contact the LSTA Coordinator, Alexandra Sanders, (803) 734-8917.

To submit a comment or complaint about the administration of LSTA grants, please contact the SCSL Director, Leesa Aiken, (803) 734-8668.

Calendars Of Library Conferences And Events

Check these current listings of upcoming conferences.