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System Director’s Report

July 2009

In August, many SCLS staff members find their thoughts turning to LSTA grants. Last month, Phyllis reported that SCLS will be applying for seven LSTA grants in 2010, so this month’s System Director’s Report is about the details of these grants.
Delivery Services: This non-competitive category will provide $75,000 to subsidize the statewide delivery backbone network that SCLS operates. Bruce Smith will coordinate this grant.
Innovative Use of Technology: This competitive category is designed to “assist…public library systems to implement programs or services that demonstrate an innovative or interesting use of technology in the library.” This year, SCLS will submit a grant in this category to explore three different consumer products in the library setting: the Kindle DX (to experiment with circulating this format), netbooks (to experiment with a netbook lab), and the HP Touchsmart (to experiment with using this technology for public access). We’ll be working with three libraries to implement these projects.
Public Library System Technology Projects: This non-competitive category provides SCLS with $42,000 to use for “meeting the technology needs” of our member libraries. We asked for input from the member libraries on how to use these funds, and based on their feedback we will be dedicating $12,000 to patron/staff training in technology, $8,000 to digital content (probably ebooks but possibly consumerreports.org), $1,000 for a set of Flip video cameras and a netbook for the libraries to use for training/programs, $5,500 for RFID tags and inventory wands, $3,000 for Windows 7 licenses for testing purposes, and $12,500 to help libraries interested in joining LINK.
Accessibility in Public Libraries/Public Library Systems: This non-competitive category provides SCLS with $12,600 to use to assist member libraries with “purchasing and installing the technology and other adaptive equipment needed to increase accessibility for people…who have mobility, vision, and/or hearing disabilities.” Shawn Brommer is coordinating this grant, and she is in the process of polling the libraries to determine exactly how the funds will be used.
JOBS – Searching, Training & Support: The 2009 JOBS category was non-competitive, but in 2010 it will be competitive. SCLS will apply for a total of $20,000 to be used for three projects: $10,000 for training, $7,500 for computer tutorials, and $2,500 for OverDrive audiobooks on relevant topics. Jean Anderson is coordinating this grant, with help from Cheryl Becker and Shawn Brommer.
Literacy: This competitive category will “promote and demonstrate the role of public…libraries in improving literacy and reading skills…” SCLS will apply to fund a project focused on family literacy. Shawn Brommer is coordinating this grant.
Multi-type Library Collaboration: This new competitive category is designed to “demonstrate collaboration between multi-type libraries in communities or regions…” SCLS will apply for $2,500 for a day-long multi-type summit. The day will include a speaker from a successful multi-type library organization, a panel discussion including various types of libraries, and lots of information sharing and planning. Jean Anderson will coordinate this grant.
SCLS is eligible to apply in two additional categories: “Digitization – Local Resources” and “Health Information Awareness and Access.” We decided not to apply for grants in these categories, but we will help our libraries that may be interested in applying.
You’ll be hearing more about these grants as the year progresses, so stay tuned!