Bartlesville Public Library is one of 50 institutions to receive the grant from ODL courtesy of the federal CARES Act and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). A total of $290,000 has been distributed to public libraries; tribal libraries; cultural centers; museums; and literacy programs to improve digital access during the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond. BPL received a $5,000 grant for literacy and a $9,240 grant to the library.
BPL’s Director, Shellie McGill, said, “The funds will be used to purchase 30 “Hotspots” which will help the community with the additional demand and needs related to Wi-Fi at home or “on the go”, and to purchase new laptops for our literacy program.”
According to ODL Director Melody Kellogg, “We already have a digital divide in Oklahoma and across the country. The pandemic has just made the divide harsher since libraries and other places that offer this free access may be closed or only offering limited services at this time.” Kellogg said Congress provided for CARES Act funds to help libraries, museums and tribal nations bridge this divide.
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries is the official state library of Oklahoma. The agency serves the in-formation and records management needs of state government, assists with public library development, coordinates library and information technology projects for the state, and serves the public through its specialized collections.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services works to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant making, research, and policy development.