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Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

LSTA Grant Management Guide: Carrying out your project


You must carry out the grant project according to the approved grant application and all federal funds must be expended solely for the purpose for which a grant was awarded.

Project changes

You need written approval from your project consultant for programmatic or budgetary changes. This means that you must submit any changes in your project from those stated in the original proposal in writing and receive approval. Speak with your consultant to determine what changes you will need approval for with your project. 

Funding guidelines

Allowable costs for your grant must follow the applicable federal cost principles outlined in the 2 CFR 200. Only approved, awarded expenditures are allowable. Below is a quick summary highlighting some common examples of what you cannot do with LSTA funds.

  • Lobby (not even for your local budget)
  • Entertainment programs - check with your consultant to be sure programs would be considered educational
  • Construction
  • Give away promotional items – such as key chains, refrigerator magnets, T-shirts, mugs
  • Give away books
  • Buy computer hardware or other equipment that accesses the Internet unless you certify that you comply with CIPA —The Children's Internet Protection Act
  • Do public relations or advertising for library services in general. You may do public relations and advertising for specific services you have provided with LSTA funds.

This is not an exhaustive list. Any questions about allowability should be directed to your MBLC consultant.

Record retention

You must maintain adequate financial records to ensure complete reporting, and retain programmatic, financial, and audit records relating to the grant for a minimum of three years from the due date of the final grant report, or until all audit exceptions have been resolved, whichever is longer.

High-cost item

You must request prior written approval from the MBLC for any item with a per unit price above $5,000. This includes items proposed in the approved grant application.

When to spend money

You should not spend or obligate any funds until your contracts have been finalized AND never before October 1.

All grant funds must be fully expended by September 30 of each funding year.

Prohibition on certain telecommunications equipment

Federal law prohibits using LSTA funds for certain telecommunication services and equipment produced by specific companies, subsidiaries, or affiliates.

Details on those limitations can be found here.

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