BOISE, Idaho — Idaho libraries in every region of the Gem State are receiving federal funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). In total, 91 libraries in Idaho applied for and received $83,200 in CARES funding through a competitive grant process.
The CARES funding is to be used to address digital inclusion and related technical support or for personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies.
This funding will enable libraries to purchase such things as devices and electronic content, Wi-Fi hot spots for their patrons to check out, and Wi-Fi boosters to extend the library’s internet signal beyond the library building.
Idaho State Librarian Stephanie Bailey-White said, “This federal CARES funding will greatly help libraries boost their internet connectivity and provide more electronic resources for their patrons. As illuminated by the COVID-19 pandemic, our libraries are a trusted source of online information, entertainment, and tools, but too many Idahoans are unable to access those resources from home. The CARES funding will help bridge that digital divide in Idaho.”
In southwest Idaho, those libraries receiving funding are:
- Ada Community Library (three branches) in Boise and Star
- Armoral Tuttle Public Library in New Plymouth
- Boise Basin Library in Idaho City
- Caldwell Public Library
- Cascade Public Library
- Donnelly Public Library
- Eastern Owyhee County Library in Grand View
- Emmett Public Library
- Glenns Ferry Public Library
- Horseshoe Bend District Library
- Idaho State Correctional Center Library in Kuna
- Lizard Butte Library in Marsing
- McCall Public Library
- Meridian Library District
- Middleton Public Library
- Nampa Public Library
- Ola District Library
- Payette Public Library
- Wilder Public Library District.
The CARES bill includes $50 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. The Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) obtains its federal funding from the IMLS. In total, the ICfL received $161,477 in CARES funding.
The ICfL will continue to gather input from the Idaho library community before determining the best use of the remaining funds that were not directly requested by libraries through the grant process.
For the complete list of the Idaho libraries receiving CARES funding, click here. https://libraries.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/ICfL-CARESfunding-libraries20200617.pdf.