The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) was signed on October 1, 1996, by United States President Bill Clinton. LSTA is a United States federal library grant program. Its roots come from the Library Services Act that was first enacted in 1956. LSTA replaced the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) that was first enacted in 1962. The new act was developed by the American Library Association (ALA) and other library groups.[1]

Many changes occurred with the passage of LSTA. The original act, Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA), allocated funds for construction of buildings, but LSTA has an emphasis on technology. The new priority is the creation of technological infrastructure.[2] Another change that occurred with the passage of LSCA was the responsibility of library services. This responsibility was originally a part of the Department of Education. It was moved to the newly created, independent federal agency called the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).[2] The range of libraries served also changed with the enactment of LSTA. Originally, public libraries were primarily served by LSCA. With the passage of LSTA, all types of libraries are served, including public, school, academic, and special.

Not all initiatives under LSCA have changed with the enactment of LSTA. Priorities, like services to the under-served and rural areas, are still supported.[2]

LSCA is a federally funded state-based program generally administered by the state library of each state. Specific funding categories are set by each state based on a long-range plan filed with the IMLS.

State Libraries LSTA Resources and Five-Year Plans


  1. ^ Flagg, Gordon. “News Fronts Washington.” American Libraries, December 1995.
  2. ^ a b c Gregory, Gwen. “The Library Services and Technology Act: How Changes from LSCA are Affecting Libraries.” Public Libraries, Vol. 38, no. 6, 1999: p. 378-82.

Other Resources

American Library Association, Fight to Defend Federal Funding for Libraries