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April 23, 2024 5:13 am

Local News

Wisconsin Libraries Receive $3 Million in Funding from American Rescue Plan

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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.” 

The Nicolet Federated Library Systems (NFLS) received about $390,000 to improve space and safety within libraries and to start a tribal outreach program. The outreach program will “create a blueprint on how to best leverage community partnerships in the future” for NFLS. Monarch Library System is also benefiting from the ARPA funds, and is getting $186,000 to upgrade to RFID scanning for check-in and check-out. RFID systems are more efficient and are easier for community members to use for self checkout.