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 Ninth Congressional District, libraries in Barnstable, Falmouth, and Middleborough received a combined total of $9,770 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 Ninth Congressional District, the Mattapoisett Free Public Library received a $1,000 Summer Learning grant.
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 Ninth Congressional District:
Mind in the Making - Kingston Public Library
The Kingston Public Library will create a larger Play Space for children ages birth through 6 years. The new Mind in the Making Play Space will provide its youngest patrons and their caregivers opportunities to develop social-emotional life skills. Giving children a safe Play Space in Kingston’s community is essential. A committed space that can replicate the playtime children experience during and after story time will make the Library more inclusive. A dedicated Play Space will add more opportunities for personal growth.
Health and Wellness - New Bedford Free Public Library
The City of New Bedford, recently designated an AARP Age-Friendly Community, is committed to providing assistance and resources to its aging population. According to the 2010 Census, New Bedford had 18,765 residents over the age of 60, representing almost 20% of the population, and this number is expected to increase in the 2020 Census. Through multiple surveys and needs assessments, the City learned that its seniors are most concerned with nutrition, managing chronic health conditions, and coping with cognitive decline. With this project, the Library will address some of these concerns with books and resources, hands-on programs promoting a healthy lifestyle via fitness and nutrition, and by bringing in experts to educate and inform on topics related to senior health and wellness issues.