Mark your calendars! As we mentioned last week in our announcement of the upcoming ARPA Grants Programs Webinar (Next Wednesday, September 1 from 2:00 p.m.), TSLAC will begin accepting applications on Friday, September 3 for three new grant programs made possible by emergency pandemic funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Available funds total at least $1.8 million and are awarded to TSLAC by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under ARPA. Texas libraries are encouraged to apply through TSLAC’s online grants management program by October 1. Most awarded projects will run Dec. 2021 – Aug. 2022.
TSLAC ARPA grants are designed to help communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic as well as to related economic and community needs through equitable approaches. The Texas Supports Libraries Grant Program will make it possible for libraries to expand their services and resources and help provide equitable access to information and technology. The Texas Telehealth Grant Program will provide libraries with the equipment and resources needed to facilitate a telehealth project at their facilities. The Texas Digital Navigators Grant Program will help libraries develop and implement a unique Digital Navigator program to help close the digital divide in their communities.
Full award, eligibility and application information, as well as webinar registration, can be found on TSLAC’s ARPA Grants web site at www.tsl.texas.gov/ldn/arpa.
The Texas Supports Libraries Grant Program ($750,000) will enable Texas libraries to reach residents through digital inclusion efforts, particularly in support of education, health and workforce development. Spending priorities include services that meet the needs of communities, including costs such as personnel, technology, training, materials, supplies, equipment and associated indirect costs, as well as resources and services improving literacy, furthering formal and informal learning and supporting workforce development.
The Texas Digital Navigators Grant Program ($800,000) funds libraries to develop and implement a unique Digital Navigator program with the help of a trusted community partner to close the digital divide in their area in a measurable way. Selected libraries will be provided with full funding for navigators (individuals trained to work one-on-one with the public) and devices, digital equity training from national experts and support in collecting and communicating the results of their project to other library staff stakeholders and funders. This project affords local libraries with a powerful means to increase digital inclusion.
The Texas Telehealth Grant Program ($250,000) provides funding for equipment and resources needed to support a library telehealth project. Telehealth uses Internet networks and computers to facilitate visits between health care providers and library patrons when they can’t be in the same place at the same time. Using now more widely available videoconferencing technology, telehealth enables communities to receive health care more quickly and affordably. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the need for this service, as has the often-insufficient broadband access in many residents’ homes.