Last week the Washington State Library (WSL) announced Mid-Columbia Libraries (MCL) was selected to receive a $3,000 grant to advance access to digital equity in the Mid-Columbia. Provided by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the funding will be used by the library to purchase personal protection equipment (PPE) to expand digital inclusion efforts and provide technical support, especially for workforce development and broadband availability.
MCL will use the grant to purchase hand sanitizer, face masks, sneeze guards, and other PPE supplies.
The WSL received the funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to support libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. In March, Congress provided the federal agency a total of $50 million in the CARES Act to distribute to states and territories.
IMLS Director Crosby Kemper III said, “COVID-19 has not only created a public health emergency, but it has also created a deep need for trusted community information, education, and connection that our libraries and museums are designed to provide. Access to and use of all kinds of health, job, government, educational, and community resources are necessary to weathering the current situation, beginning efforts to reopen, and sustaining our institutions.”
“Federal funding for libraries in the CARES Act is a vote of confidence in libraries’ ability to deliver vital community services,” said Kyle Cox. “We are grateful for the support shown for libraries during this critical time. As we begin to prepare for curbside services and reopening, Mid-Columbia Libraries continues to look for creative and sustainable ways to empower our communities through library services. ”
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