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 Fourth Congressional District, libraries in Dighton, Easton, Mansfield, Medway, Needham, and Norfolk received a combined total of $14,957 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 Fourth Congressional District, libraries in Needham and Sharon received a combined total of $3,995 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 Fourth Congressional District:

  • Idealab - Norfolk Public Library

    Norfolk Public Library will transform its Craft Room into an Exploration Station Maker Lab. The Library will use the in-house supplies to offer a variety of programming. There will also be regular outreach into the community using ten themed maker-packs that staff can bring around town and that can also be checked out by patrons. The project will offer people of all ages access to use new, emerging technologies while providing the community opportunities to collaborate, connect, and construct.

  • Go Local - Ames Free Library, Easton

    Easton prides itself on its history. But while the stories of its most prominent residents are well documented, there are countless others who have shaped the community whose stories remain untold. As the Town approaches its tri-centennial, the 300 Years, 300 Stories initiative aims to capture and share stories about the town and its residents, both the well-known and the not-so-well known. Through partnerships with multiple town organizations, the Ames Free Library will work to create audio, video, and written records of these stories. This initiative will create a lasting record of the Town for all residents to enjoy for years to come.