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 Third Congressional District, libraries in Clinton, Haverhill, and Marlborough received a combined total of $7,304 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 Third Congressional District, Lawrence, Lowell, and Stow received a combined total of $4,225 in Summer Learning grants.
LSTA Direct Grants to LibrariesMassachusetts 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 Third Congressional District:
Health and Wellness - Chelmsford Public Library
In 2019, seniors (age 65+) made up 19.4% of the population in the Town of Chelmsford. For many of these seniors, physical and mental health are primary concerns. While the Library offers many services to meet the needs of seniors at both the Main branch and the MacKay branch, and the town has a vibrant, active Senior Center, there are still many seniors in town who are unable to walk through these doors due to transportation barriers. This project will meet the needs of those seniors where they are – senior housing. With the recent purchase of a Pop-Up Library, a truck modified to carry materials and provide Wi-Fi anywhere the Library wants to go, the Library has the perfect vehicle to bring health-related materials and programs targeted to seniors right to their doors.
Serving Tweens and Teens - Stevens Memorial Library, Ashburnham
The Library has made great strides in expanding their services over the last several years, but there is a need within the community to offer more programming and services to patrons. This project allows the library to further provide programming to Ashburnham’s youth as well as makeover the current Teen Space to create a warmer, more welcoming area. The Library will also use funds for a paid teen internship, which will address a lack of employment opportunities in town for teens, especially those interested in the library field.