Schools and libraries must meet statutory definitions to be eligible for Schools and Libraries (E-rate) program support.
Libraries must meet the statutory definition of library or library consortium found in the Library Services and Technology Act of 1996 (LSTA) (20 U.S.C. Section 9122) and must be eligible for assistance from a state library administrative agency under that Act.
The definition of a library includes:
A public library
A public elementary school or secondary school library
An academic library
A research library, one that makes publicly available library services and material suitable for scholarly research and not otherwise available to the public and is not an integral part of an institution of higher education
A private library, but only if the state in which such private library is located determines that the library should be considered a library for purposes of this definition
A library’s eligibility for support also depends on its funding as an independent entity. Only libraries whose budgets are completely separate from any schools, including but not limited to, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities shall be eligible to receive discounted services.
For example, an elementary school library is only eligible to receive discounted services if its budget is completely separate from the elementary school. If its budget is not completely separate from the elementary school, the elementary school library is not eligible for support independent from the school with which it is associated.
REQUIREMENT 3: ELIGIBLE LOCATION
Eligible locations are considered to be locations that are school or library property. School or library property includes a district office or similar facility.
REQUIREMENT 4: ELIGIBLE PURPOSE
E-rate program discounts are limited to services used for “educational purposes.” E-rate applicants must therefore certify that funds will be used primarily for educational purposes, defined as activities that are integral, immediate, and proximate to the education of students, or in the case of libraries, integral, immediate, and proximate to the provision of library services to library patrons.
Activities that customarily occur on library or school property are presumed to be integral, immediate, and proximate to the education of students or the provision of library services to library patrons and are therefore eligible for discounts on associated services.
Services must not only be eligible, but must also be delivered to eligible locations and used for eligible purposes. Eligible activities for libraries include, but are not limited to, the library-related activities of library administrators, library technology workers, library bookmobile drivers, and interlibrary loan workers. All eligible products and services must be provided to and paid for by the entities indicated