American Rescue Plan Act Grant (ARPA)

Hobart Public Library Receives Grant for Pandemic Relief and Recovery

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) has awarded an $8,268.00 grant to Hobart Public Library to address impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. ODL offered targeted grants to Oklahoma public libraries as part of the agency’s plan for use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

Tointigh says the grant will be used to purchase a new study carrel for the public computers to help with social distancing and privacy concerns. The library will also purchase a new wireless projector and books to facilitate education and programming purposes. The library will also purchase two new laptop computers to help bridge the technology divide and help job seekers. The library will also purchase earbuds and Personal Protective Equipment that will help remove the need for disinfect, which frees up staff time and will help keep the library clean.

Jackie Knopp, director of the Office of Library Development at ODL, said grants totaling $1.45 million have been provided to 93 municipal libraries and all eight of the state’s library systems.

“The grants are funding a diverse array of items and projects to protect public health and assure continued services,” Knopp said. “The process allowed for a variety of options so that individual libraries could request grant funds to meet their most pressing needs.”

Knopp said libraries could purchase PPE and easily-cleanable furniture, fund network enhancements and Wi-Fi expansion, purchase connectivity devices for social distancing and remote access to online resources, support video conference capabilities, order health and wellness materials for their collections, and even pay for temporary staffing to help in the recovery process.

The spending criteria was provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and based on ARPA legislation.

In addition to the public library grants, ODL is using ARPA funds to also provide grants to adult literacy programs, museums, and tribal museums and cultural centers. Other ODL-sponsored ARPA projects in the works include High School pilot with six public libraries, the launch of a telehealth pilot program, online resources for homework help, an early literacy program for 30 small and rural public libraries, and procurement scanning stations for selected libraries.

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The Oklahoma Department of Libraries is the official state library of Oklahoma. The agency serves the information and records management needs of state government, assists with public library development, coordinated library and information technology projects for the state, and serves the general public through its specialized collections.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services works to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant-making, research, and policy development.

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