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FAQ about LSTA Grant Activities and Evaluation

These are frequently asked questions(FAQ) about the terms used in the activity and evaluation section of the LSTA grant application. These terms will also be used in six month and final evaluations.  

Terms of Grant Activities


What is an Activity?

  • Actions and processes through which the intent of a project is accomplished 
  • Describe up to 10 activities that will account for at least 10% of the total amount of funding committed to the project 
  • Describe what the activity is; Where an activity will take place; Who will benefit from the activity; Identify anticipated significant project goals/objectives; Will there be any partner(s) with whom you will have an agreement for outreach; Describe the evaluation strategy for that activity
  • Activities will be defined further by a Mode and Format choice of dropdown boxes 

The following are the activity types and definitions that describe the four types of planned project activities.

Activity Type - The four (4) types are defined below

  1. Instruction:  Involves an interaction for knowledge or skill transfer 
  2. Content:  Involves the acquisition, development, or transfer of information 
  3. Planning/Evaluation:  Involves design, development, or assessment of operations, services, or resources
  4. Procurement:  As the improvement of physical or technological infrastructure, this activity involves purchasing facilities, equipment/supplies, hardware/software, or other materials (not content) that support general library infrastructure.  

What is a Mode?

A mode is how an activity is delivered, created, or experienced.

Activity:  Instruction has four (4) modes

Modes of Instruction: Defined as how learning is delivered or experienced.

  1. Program:  Formal interaction and active user engagement (e.g., a class on computer skills)
  2. Presentation:  Formal interaction and passive user engagement (e.g., an author's talk)
  3. Consultation:  ​Informal interaction with an individual or group of individuals.  These library staff or other professionals provide expert advice or reference services to individuals, units, or organizations.
  4. Other: Conference Attendance

Activity:  Content

Modes of Content: Defined as how information is made accessible. There are five (5) modes.

  1. Acquisition: Selecting, ordering, and receiving materials for library or archival collections by purchase, exchange, or gift, which may include budgeting resources.  May also include procuring software or hardware for the and negotiating with outside agencies (i.e. publishers, vendors) to obtain purposes of storing and/or retrieving information or enabling the act of experiencing, manipulating, or otherwise interacting with an information resource
  2. Creation:  Design or production of an information tool or resource (e.g., digital objects, curricula, manuals).  Includes digitization or the process of converting data to digital format for processing by a computer.
  3. Description: Apply standardized descriptive information and/or apply such information in a standardized format to items or groups of items in a collection for purposes of intellectual control, organization, and retrieval.
  4. Lending: Provision of a library’s resources and collections through the circulation of materials (general circulation, reserves). May also refer to the physical or electronic delivery of documents from a library collection to the residence or place of business of a library user, upon request
  5. Preservation: Effort that extends the life or use life of a living or non‐living collection, the individual items or entities included in a collection, or a structure, building, or site by reducing the likelihood or speed of deterioration.

Activity: Planning/Evaluation

Mode of Planning/Evaluation: When information is collected, analyzed, and/or disseminated.  There are two (2) modes for this activity.

  1. Retrospective: Research effort that involves historical assessments of the condition of a project, program, service, operation, resource and/or user group.
  2. Prospective: Research effort that projects or forecasts a future condition of a project, program, service, operation, resource, and/or user group.

Activity: Procurement

Buying or leasing facilities; purchasing equipment/supplies, hardware/software, or other materials (not content) that support general library infrastructure as opposed to the storage and retrieval of content worth greater than $5,000 each.

Mode of Procurement - Procurement does not have a "mode."

What is a Format?

A characteristic of a mode.

Instruction Mode has three Formats: In-person, Virtual, or a Combination.

  1. Program: Format would be in-person meaning that it is carried out face to face.  
  2. Presentation: Format is virtual defined as mediated by a computer, computer network, or mobile device
  3. Consultation: Format could be a combination of in-person/virtual.  It could be delivered both in‐person and via a computer, computer network, or mobile device.  (e.g. live webinar)

“Content” Mode has two Formats: Physical or Digital.

  1. Physical: Medium in or on which information (data, sound, images, etc.) is stored (for example, paper, film, magnetic tape or disk, etc.). The medium may be encased in a protective housing made of another material (plastic, metal, etc.).
  2. Digital: Computer‐mediated. The term includes commercial or non‐ commercial hardware, software, and/or data transfer connections and protocols, systems at any scale, and metadata.


A cooperating institution, designated through a formal agreement that contributes material resources (e.g. supplies, funds, staff) to the activity.


A person who will use, visit, participate, or otherwise experience a project activity 

Evaluation Strategies

Evaluation strategies are used to assess project findings. Examples of evaluation strategies: 

  • Surveys
  • Review of administrative data
  • Interviews 
  • Focus groups
  • Formal observations
For questions about this information, contact Michael Dennison (608) 266-5196