With libraries reopening, library administrators are juggling a bazillion tasks in order to reopen safely and expediently. Here are 4 free resources that will help ease the burden.
American Library Association’s State Funding Guide
As covered in a previous post, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) was recently allocated $200 million. The funds are part of the American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law on March 11, 2021. This historical measure means significant funding for libraries in every state across the nation, with a minimum funding requirement set at $2 million per state.
Now, the American Library Association has released a state funding resource for libraries, detailing how libraries of all types can obtain a portion of their state-allocated funds. ALA has compiled this resource to support libraries and help expedite funding distribution during the recovery period. The hope is that as libraries reopen, they will be able to maintain and even expand public programs and services.
The ALA’s State Funding Guide includes a list of funding allocations per state. It also details information on various provisions such as the Emergency Connectivity Fund, which provides 100% reimbursement for the cost of hotspots and other Wi-Fi capable devices, modems, routers, laptops, tablets and similar devices to loan to patrons for participating libraries, and partnership opportunities for school and public libraries.
The ALA stresses that it is important for libraries to act quickly to procure funding for their institutions by contacting their local leaders and elected officials. To support libraries in this endeavor, the State Funding Guide includes documents, information, and advocacy materials for libraries of all types, including public libraries, school libraries, and academic libraries.
We have gathered some additional tools that may be helpful to libraries during this period of transition.
Social distancing as libraries reopen
As libraries reopen and encourage patrons to return, there are likely still lingering concerns about safety and social distancing. Demco Interiors has created a portfolio of virtual spaces to help libraries envision ways of adapting their spaces to keep patrons and staff safe.
Indiana State Library’s Continuing Education Toolkit for Library Professionals includes a handy list of free and paid tools across a variety of categories, such as Communication, Digital Items, Public Relations, Security, Tech Tools, Video Creation and more. They also have COVID-19 specific tools, including activities, resources, and webinars.
Great Stories Club
The ALA’s Great Stories Club materials are free to use by any library and are all available for download on the ALA’s website. Organized by theme, the club is designed to encourage reluctant readers and young people facing difficult life circumstances. Reading lists are centered on themes like Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation and are supplemented by programming and promotional materials.
Launching a program like Great Stories Club is a great way to attract patrons, especially young readers, back into the library.
Even more tools for libraries reopening
This post concludes a series of recent articles about libraries and COVID-19. We’ve discussed the American Rescue Plan Act and how to make library access a reality for the visually impaired, and we’ve looked at some stellar of examples of libraries that have engineered creative, accessible programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We hope the additional tools and resources offered here are helpful to libraries in the recovery and reopening phase. If we can help support your recovery efforts, particularly when it comes to accessibility, please reach out to us.
By Bethany Wyshak. Reviewed by Stuart Flom.
ALA releases American Rescue Plan state funding resource for. (2021, April 14). [Press release]. http://www.ala.org/news/member-news/2021/04/ala-releases-american-rescue-plan-state-funding-resource-libraries
American Library Association. (2021, April 30). American Rescue Plan – State Guide. http://www.ala.org/advocacy/american-rescue-plan-state-guide
Demco Interiors. (2021, January 19). View These Social Distancing Public Library Designs. https://www.demcointeriors.com/project/public-library-designed-for-social-distancing/
Indiana State Library. (2021, February 17). Helpful Tools for Libraries. https://continuinged.isl.in.gov/helpful-tools-for-libraries/
Institute of Museum and Library Services. (2021, April). INSTITUTE OF MUSEUM AND LIBRARY SERVICES LIBRARY SERVICES AND TECHNOLOGY ACT STATE ALLOTMENT TABLE. https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/2021-03/arpaallotmenttablefy2021.pdf