Public library system receives nearly $ 2 million in grants to expand digital access
The Miami-Dade Public Library System has applied for and received funding for three large grants totaling nearly $ 2 million that will expand access to technology for residents and provide vital resources to help families recover. impacts of COVID-19, including job searches, resume writing, mental health and personal care.
“Internet access and digital inclusion for all of our residents is a top priority for my administration,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Access to the internet is essential for applying for jobs, learning new skills, staying connected, and being successful in school and beyond. Our Miami-Dade public libraries offer free access to the Internet, computers and technology. These grants will help to further bridge the digital divide and give our residents more equitable access to technology so they can learn, compete and succeed. “
The grants awarded are as follows:
Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) – $ 1,593,071
The Federal Communications Commission’s ECF provides funding to help libraries provide offsite high-speed internet service and connected devices to patrons who would otherwise not have access during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Miami-Dade Public Libraries will use grant funds to purchase 2,000 Chromebook computers with cellular service and 500 mobile hotspots for Internet connectivity and for the installation of Wi-Fi on their bookmobiles, all at the site. for public use. The funds will also be used to cover the cost of cellular service for the library’s tablet lending program, which allows patrons to check out and take home a tablet with built-in wireless internet and free Wi-Fi capability with their library card.
State Division of Library and Information Services (DLIS) Florida American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – $ 275,051
The DLIS Florida ARPA Grants Program helps libraries help communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic, as well as related economic and community needs through equitable approaches to digital inclusion and library services.
Miami-Dade Public Libraries will use grant funds to expand its existing drive-up Wi-Fi service from 23 to 35 library locations and increase the broadcast signal. In-Car Wi-Fi allows anyone to connect to free Wi-Fi from the comfort of their vehicle by simply parking in one of the marked spaces at any participating library location. The expansion will increase the number of parking spaces with Wi-Fi accessibility from 240 to 829.
Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – $ 50,000
The IMLS ARPA Grant Program supports museum and library services to meet community needs created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and to aid recovery.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Library saw a substantial increase in demand for and retrieval of electronic content. Miami-Dade Public Libraries will use grant funds to purchase additional eBooks and eBooks that cover topics related to the pandemic, such as career preparation, job search, personal care. and stress management, to increase access to these important resources and reduce wait times. for high demand items.
“We know that for many members of our community, the library is their only source of access to the Internet, computers, technology and other important resources,” said Library Director Ray Baker. “I would like to thank the library team, including our Information Technology team, for their work on these grant applications. We are proud to have received funding that will allow us to continue to innovate and increase our role in providing these essential services and building engaged and informed communities.
Grant projects are expected to be implemented in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
Learn more about www.mdpls.org.
Connect with your customers and grow your business