DOL Information about federal stimulus funds

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and Libraries

Even before the “stimulus bill” was signed into law in February, librarians in Vermont and across the country were hard at work trying to make sure that some of this money gets to libraries. There are still many unanswered questions about this funding package and new information trickles in each week. DOL is in regular contact with State officials and also with the ALA Washington Office and other state library agencies and I will pass along news as it comes our way.

Some of the biggest money will come to the State of Vermont, in the “Stabilization Funds.” Most or all of that money that comes directly to the state will be directed to projects other than libraries. But there are other ARRA funding programs that are potential sources for us to tap. Read below for tips:

Public Libraries: make sure you are in communication with your town officials. Municipalities will receive a portion of the stabilization money and libraries could be eligible public projects.

Sources for information about ARRA

Text of ARRA: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h1enr.pdf

State of Vermont:

American Library Association: www.ala.org/knowyourstimulus/

Vermont Department of Libraries: http://libraries.vermont.gov/

Watch for announcements and updates. The State Librarian participates in conference calls with ALA twice each month, and is also working with the state Recovery Office and with other state agencies.

Tips for Success for Funding

You’ve all heard the “buzz” words and there are factors that you may want to keep in mind when applying for grants or loans. ARRA is designed to stimulate the economy, so projects that create JOBS have a high priority. Other success factors that may play a part: BIG projects; COLLABORATIVE projects; SUSTAINABLE projects; projects that build on INFRASTRUCTURE in your COMMUNITY and help your LOCAL ECONOMY; projects that are ENERGY efficient and “green” and projects which serve the underserved and those hit hard by the economy. Think INNOVATIVE. If your project has one or more of these factors, you may a better chance and getting funds. Remember that these programs require matching money; the match percentage varies from program to program.

If you have a project in mind, ask yourself: Can I partner with another agency? Another library? How does this project help the economy?

Where’s the Money?

Broadband

The State Librarian is working with the VT Recovery Office and a team of several agencies in a collaborative effort to secure NTIA broadband money for underserved areas in our state. This money is to be used: (1) for broadband education, awareness, training, access, and support to libraries, educational institutions and other organizations to facilitate greater use of broadband, including more use by low-income, unemployed, aged, and otherwise vulnerable populations, and (2) by libraries and other  organizations for projects consistent with the above purposes. More specifically, funding can be used for equipment, networking capability, hardware/software, and digital network technology.

http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/wo/woissues/washfunding/fedfund/arra101pgs/broadband.cfm

Public Libraries:

School Libraries:

There are other opportunities for funds in this bill that may benefit libraries, including:

  • Energy Conservation projects
  • Community Block Grants
  • National Endowment for the Arts grants

DOL welcomes information from all of you as well. If you are working on a grant or loan project, we want to know! Please contact me or your regional librarian.

Marty

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Martha Reid
State Librarian
Vermont Department of Libraries
808-828-3265
martha.reid@mail.dol.state.vt.us

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