Did you think the most recently passed “Stimulus Act,” (official title – American Rescue Act) would include funding for libraries? Probably not, but it does!!
$200 million, yes, that’s right, $200 million is to be allocated to the Institute of Museum and Library Services! Such allocation is the largest in the agency’s 25-year history! $178 million will be shared by states, based on population. Monies will be directed to state library systems, which will determine allowable usages for the funding. Be ready to share ideas with the State Librarian!
$7 billion – did you say $7 BILLION – will be earmarked for broadband. Libraries may apply for this funding, too, of course, receiving 100% reimbursement for the institution of hotspots and other Wi-Fi devices, as well as modems, routers, laptops, tablets, and similar items, which may in turn be loaned to patrons! Be ready to get your wi-fi on!
$360 billion, oh, my, yes, $360 BILLION shall be provided for state and local governmental emergency funding. Such funding will be used to offset closings of a variety of institutions, to include libraries! And, if the libraries are not at the brink of closing, the monies may be utilized for new and innovative programming. Be ready to patronize your local library again!
$130 billion, yes, goodness gracious, $130 BILLION will serve to stabilize educational offerings across the country. Thus, school libraries (especially Title I schools) may apply to address student academic and technology needs and learning losses, as fostered by the pandemic. Be ready for your child’s school library to, once again, be the “hub” of learning!
$135 million will be allocated to BOTH the National Endowment for the Arts AND the National Endowment for the Humanities! Libraries will be eligible for direct grants sponsored by this funding. Here’s to the return of interdisciplinary mindsets and free-thinkers!
$39 billion shall support the Child Care and Development Block Grants Stabilization Fund AND $1 billion Head Start, a unique opportunity for school and public libraries to create partnerships which benefit early childhood development. Kiddos are our most important asset, after all!
$9.1 billion will be available for state-based afterschool and summer programs, but pay attention within your neighborhood, too. $29.1 billion will fund such programs at the local level.
All-in-all, libraries will be “humming” with activity, patronage, programming, wi-fi, and engaged brains very soon, (and, we hope, for years to come)! It’s a good time to make friends with your local library and librarians!