Ashland Public Library used ARPA funds to make improvements to the library!
The library turned off their drinking fountains due to COVID-19 in an effort to prevent the spread. Using money from the ARPA grant, the library was able to install a bottle filler to the drinking fountains. This allowed kids, patrons, and the public to access the water when needed.
The recent pandemic shed a light on how important WiFi access is to the community. Children would sit by the windows in order to gain access when the library was closed. The library was able to purchase new access points to give patrons higher speeds inside and outside the library.
COVID-19 hit the active seniors in the community hard. Isolation and limited contact led to disconnect in community activities. As vaccination rates increased, the library offered a free exercise program geared toward seniors. The GeriFit program was a great fit for the community and helped the senior population to get back out and strengthen their muscles.
Along with the ARPA Youth for Excellence Grant, Ashland Public Library purchased STEM equipment for the new group of home school students. The library purchased iPads along with Sphero to teach computer coding. For younger patrons, the library bought two option of the Go Robot Mouse to spark learning of how coding works.
The pandemic showed that Ashland Public Library is an important piece of its community. Every upgrade or new purchase, has had positive results. Patrons have shown their appreciation for all the opportunities available through the library to help the community continue to move forward.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is result of the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress. The Nebraska Library Commission received a one-time award of $2,422,166. A portion of this funding has been allocated for three projects:Formula based grant program, NLC Library Improvement Grants, and NLC Youth Grants for Excellence.
For more information about the 2021 American Rescue Plan, visit www.nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/arpa/index.aspx