Virtual Programming Grants

CARES Act funding was used to create grant opportunities for libraries in Massachusetts to increase virtual programming in their communities. Libraries applied for grants to purchase recording equipment including cameras, microphones, and editing software; materials to create crafting and science kits that residents could pick up curbside; and to hire professionals to host events that were available to all Massachusetts residents through the MBLC’s Virtual Events Calendar.

In the Second Congressional District, libraries in Amherst, Athol, Northampton, North Brookfield, Oakham, Royalston, Shutesbury, and Worcester received a combined total of $20,125 in these grants.

Summer Distance Learning Grants

Libraries needed to adapt quickly to continue providing summer services that are expected by communities in a safe and accessible manner. To assist them, MBLC provided a total of $117,500 of CARES Act and LSTA funding to libraries that requested it to purchase summer reading tracking software Beanstack. This allowed summer reading to continue while children, teens, and adults were at home.

In addition, LSTA funding was used to support expanding the concept of summer learning in libraries beyond reading. In the Second Congressional District, Amherst and Northampton received a combined total of $3,950 in Summer Learning grants.

LSTA Direct Grants to Libraries

Massachusetts uses LSTA funding to provide libraries with direct grants to meet the needs of their communities. There were 36 LSTA direct grants totaling $404,305 across the state in 2020.

Below are examples of direct grant funded projects in the Second Congressional District:

  • Go Local - Forbes Library, Northampton

    Acknowledging the gaps in its local history collection, the Forbes Library strives to create a truly living and dynamic document of Northampton. This project continues the work of deepening and complicating the local history collection through oral history, community digitization, and the recording of library programming. The Library will build and strengthen connections with community partners by providing much needed technical support, relevant archival collections, and public programming space. The thematic areas of concentration for this project will be turn-of-the-twenty-first-century music history in Northampton and the Northampton Pride Parade.

  • Idealab - Blackstone Free Public Library

    The community members of Blackstone are looking for ways to be creative, learn, and explore. Current options have long waiting lists, and some are cost prohibitive. The Library will offer an array of programs for all ages that address the subject of creativity and STEAM. This project explores topics such as photography, videography, coding, painting, sewing and more.