Kansas City Public Library: Kansas City Public Library Receives Over $ 850,000 In Emergency Connectivity Fund
September 30, 2021
The Kansas City Public Library received $ 853,212 as part of a first wave of federal funding for emergency connectivity designed to increase broadband Internet access in the community. The library will use the credit to purchase and distribute hundreds of laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots.
The Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) is an initiative included in the US bailout package approved by Congress in March. It will help schools and libraries across the country provide essential online resources for students, staff and library patrons, among others, by addressing distance learning needs.
The program “will make a major dent in bridging one of the cruelest parts of the digital divide,” said FCC Interim President Jessica Rosenworcel.
The FCC has announced funding for 260 library networks and individual libraries across the country. The prize of over $ 850,000 to the Kansas City Public Library is the fourth largest after funding for the District of Columbia Public Library, the Harris County Public Library in Houston, and the St. Louis.
In total, more than $ 1.2 billion is disbursed by the FCC to 3,040 schools and 24 consortia, as well as to libraries.
KCPL will use its funding to purchase 1,200 Chromebooks with built-in 4G LTE and 300 access points with unlimited data to complement the library’s current access point lending program. Chromebooks and hotspots will be released and made available to library cardholders and community partners who require devices for programming.
These additions to the Library’s resources will not only keep pace with changing needs created by remote work, but also increase the Library’s reach and access to its digital services. The new devices will also expand services introduced over the past 18 months to bridge the technology divide felt by students and adults who study and work remotely.