On September 24th, the Institute for Museum and Library Services announced that $13.8 million in funding from the CARES Act would be available for COVID relief for libraries and museums in the U.S. to “support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The funded projects were selected from 1,701 applications requesting $409,251,399, and institutions receiving awards are matching them with $1,753,470 in non-federal funds,” as reported by the IMLS (2020).

This is a huge win for libraries and museums across the nation to recognize the critical support provided in rapid response to the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. The grants will support 68 different projects, read more about those here. Our very own Charlotte Mecklenburg Library “sought a tangible solution for the nearly 41 percent of households in the area who lack internet access for telehealth, online schooling, job searching and more. In partnership with the Charlotte Digital Inclusion Alliance and inspired by the BKYLNConnect Playbook, the library will pilot its Neighborhood W.I.S.P. (Wireless Internet Service Provider) Network to increase internet access in the county’s West Boulevard corridor. In addition to receiving free internet with their library card, individuals will receive digital literacy training, and some may train as support technicians,” (IMLS, 2020).

American Libraries and Museums Awarded $13.8 Million in IMLS CARES Act Grants. (2020, September 24). Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.imls.gov/news/american-libraries-and-museums-awarded-138-million-imls-cares-act-grants