Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) announced $3 million in grants to 10 public libraries and 15 library systems in the state. The money is divided equally into three pools to include digital services at libraries, provide emergency relief to libraries, and to support programs that offer services to community members. The money comes from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which authorized $3.27 million for the Wisconsin DPI.
According to State Librarian and Assistant State Superintendent Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, “Public libraries have always been the heart of our communities. During the pandemic, libraries became critical in providing internet access, workforce assistance, literacy programs, and more.”
Both the South Central Library System (SCLS) and the IFLS Library System are getting funding for hybrid library models. The IFLS has said they will use the money to make outdoor events easier. It is unclear what the SCLS will use their money for, but other libraries have purchased bikes and vans to bring books to people or awnings to host outdoor events.