Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I ensure that part of my technology funding this year (FY2020) goes towards facilitating the completion of the 2020 Census?
A. The funds are provided specifically for public access technology procurement - from public access computers to loaner technology to accessibility technology - that aids in the facilitation of census completion.
Libraries should ensure that there are adequate numbers of machines and available technology to meet the needs of all patrons who would like to use the library in order to complete the census.
Q. What are some ideas for allowable items that can be used for Census?
A. Allowable items for the Census can include public access machines and/or tablets, copier/print stations for mail applications, mobile census taking stations, and assistive technology upgrades to existing equipment. If you have any other ideas, please don't hesitate to email Shannan Furlow.
Q. What are the technology requirements for filling out the Census online?
A. More information can be found on the Census Technology FAQs webpage. The webpage includes information on cybersecurity, data security, and operations (such as best browsers and devices).
Q. What is a larger project?
A. The definition of a larger project is multiple types of items grouped together on one invoice from one vendor for the purpose of a larger upgrade or replacement project that is for multiple branches or system-wide.
Q. Can you buy RFID tags, receipt paper, games, books, cables, software, etc. with an equipment purchase?
A. These items are considered supplies and are not allowed. Be careful of bundles that include these items. The items would need to be listed separately on the invoice and crossed out when submitted for reimbursement.
Q. What is the policy for the surplus of grant funded items and use after a five-year shelf-life?
A. Any items purchased in FY2014 or earlier, the bonds for these funding years are no longer active. As a result, the equipment purchased during these years can be used as the libraries see fit.
Any items purchased in FY2015 forward are still considered a part of active bonds. They must remain in public access areas/used in public programming.
Q. Can we use grant funded items in areas other than public access, such as circulation?
A. Not until the bond has expired: items purchased FY2014 and earlier.
Q. What do we do if the pricing of an item changes from the time of the purchasing plan to the time of purchasing (i.e. raised in price)?
A. For items that have changes in pricing, you may adjust the quantity purchased as needed. You may also keep the quantity as is and instead adjust the "Amount Requested" column on the invoice list to get to your allocated amount.
For example, the invoice amount is $2,600 but you only have $2,500 left in your allocated amount. You can put the “Invoice Amount” as $2,600 and the “Amount Requested” as $2,500. The library would then cover the remaining $100 from their own funds.
Remember the grand totals on the payment request invoices list must match your allocation exactly!
Q. Can I change vendor and/or item after submitting the purchasing plan?
A. Due to the restrictions this year, you cannot change vendor or item after they are approved. If a serious issue occurs with the vendor after the purchasing plan is approved, please send an email to Lib Tech Support.
Q. What if my invoice bundles items together and includes unallowable items?
A. If hardware is bundled with unallowable items (such as computer accessories, installation, and support), you must ask the vendor to split the charges.
They can be on the same invoice but different line items or you can get two different invoices (one for hardware and one for other services) and only submit the invoice with the hardware. If a computer accessory is included as a free part of buying hardware (such as a keyboard/mouse with a Dell computer), as long as the invoice says free, it will not be a problem.
Q. Can Lib Tech funding be used to pay for the library's portion of E-Rate Category 2?
A. Lib Tech funding can be used for equipment and cabling as a larger project only (see allowable items list). Installation and maintenance or service plans are not allowable and will not be reimbursed.
If you are apply for Category 2 funding this year, here is a timeline for both E-Rate and Lib Tech:
- Go out to bid for E-Rate services by December 2018.
- File Category 2 application sometime between January and March 2019.
- Wait to hear if funded as early as April 2019 or as late as October 2019.
- E-Rate doesn't cover 100% of the cost for Category 2 services. Libraries are responsible for the non-discounted portion, usually around 20% (discount rate can be found in the library's EPC profile).
- Submit FY2020 Lib Tech purchasing plan based on funding decision by November 15, 2019.
- Review plan with Shannan Furlow before submitting for approval.
- Please send quote for installation along with purchasing plan.
- Once funding is committed, install Category 2 equipment and services.
- For Lib Tech, libraries must wait until at least July 1, 2019 to be invoiced for installation or, preferably, until after Lib Tech purchasing plan approval. The latest that equipment can be installed is by January 2020. Extension of deadline is possible in special cases.
- For E-rate, install equipment at the very latest by September 30, 2020.
- Apply for reimbursement of installation of Category 2 services.
- For Lib Tech, libraries must submit for reimbursement by March 13, 2020. Extension of deadline is possible in special cases.
- For E-rate, the library or vendor must submit invoices by January 21, 2021.