On Monday, April 13, 2020, the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the agency would soon award the first $30 million of the $50 million that Congress appropriated under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Under the distribution formula, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) will receive $526,106 in the coming weeks.
According to the language of the CARES Act and a press release from IMLS, Wisconsin may use the funds to expand digital network access, purchase internet accessible devices, and provide technical support services to address digital inclusion efforts and related technical support. The Division for Libraries and Technology within DPI has already begun planning with stakeholders in order to effectively and equitably distribute these funds using the following types of data to inform targeted efforts:
- poverty/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
- unemployment; and
- broadband availability.
The Division for Libraries and Technology is actively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with direct support to libraries, systems, and library users, and this additional funding will amplify those efforts to further connect Wisconsin residents to the health, workforce, and community resources that are available to all of us.
For more information on the CARES Act, how it affects Wisconsin’s libraries, and the projects the Division for Libraries and Technology is implementing or supplementing using these funds, please see the Division’s CARES Act page.