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 Eighth Congressional District, libraries in Norwood, Quincy, and Wareham received a combined total of $9,442 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 Eighth Congressional District, the Scituate Town Library received a $1,070 Summer Learning grant.

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 Eighth Congressional District:

  • Serving Teens and Tweens - Canton Public Library

    The Canton Public Library has identified a need for tweens and teens that can best be addressed by expanding its services, programming, and materials to focus on issues related to mind, body, and world wellness. Having surveyed young people that are current library users and those that are not, the Library is aware of their feelings of overwhelming stress and anxiety. As an already trusted institution, teens and tweens know the Library is here to help. This project will focus on providing opportunities to improve the health and happiness of young patrons, as well as encourage more meaningful engagement among the regular young adults the Library serves every day.

  • Protecting Priority Collections Massachusetts Eye and Ear – Howe Library, Boston

    The Howe Library will improve preservation and access to the collections in the Abraham Pollen Archives by implementing the recommendations from a previous Preservation Needs Assessment. This will improve intellectual control and access to the recently rediscovered, internationally significant, and at-risk medical instrument collection. This project will help the Library provide a safer environment for the Archives and provide increased access to a truly unique special collection, supporting research and engagement from the entire Massachusetts Eye and Ear community, outside researchers, and the general public.