Friday, January 22, 2010

Federal Stimulus Fund Dollars for Public Libraries and Community Colleges

The American Library Association's Office of Information and Technology Policy (OITP) successfully advocated for more Federal Stimulus Funds for public libraries. Carrie McGuire, ALA Director, OITP Program on Networks, is to be commended.

On Friday, 1/22, Carrie hosted a "GoToWebinar" presentation for ALA members, featuring John Windhausen and Robert Bocher on "Stimulus Funds: Round 2 -- Get Connected". See archived version at

John Windhausen credited ALA for upgrades to NTIA and RUS grant programs. He said that part 2 of the Stimulus Funds will have the same 3 programs as the first part:
  • CCI - Comprehensive Community Infrastructure - emphasis now includes libraries as key community "anchor" entities.
  • PCC - Public Computer Centers
  • Sustainable broadband
March 15 is deadline for applying for round #2; Grants will be awarded from Summer through September 30, 2010.

Scoring preference:
  • Applications for programs that serve the needs of healthcare, education, children and "vulnerable populations" and unserved/underserved areas.
  • Public Computer Center programs are obvious areas for libraries and community colleges, yet there is a lot of competition for this money from other community organizations.
  • NEW emphasis on community colleges and training (workforce training)
  • NEW emphasis on "community anchor institutions"
Priorities: (p. 12 NOFA)
  • includes partnerships - govt, nonprofit, for-profit, community
  • addresses economically distressed areas
  • commitment to serve community colleges
Hope the end result of these grant requests and programs do what they are meant to do: provide broadband connectivity to communities and individuals who do not have access or are underserved.

1 comment:

Sheryl Grabow-Weiss said...

I often wonder why grants do not include funding for salaries. If there is no one to promote services, will they be used? With Teacher Librarians disappearing, who will promote database usage, web 2.0 tools, cyber safety, responsible online citizenship?