Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) announced $3 million in grants to 10 public libraries and 15 library systems in the state. The money is divided equally into three pools to include digital services at libraries, provide emergency relief to libraries, and to support programs that offer services to community members. The money comes from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which authorized $3.27 million for the Wisconsin DPI.
According to State Librarian and Assistant State Superintendent Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, “Public libraries have always been the heart of our communities. During the pandemic, libraries became critical in providing internet access, workforce assistance, literacy programs, and more.”
The Milwaukee County Federated Library System is getting nearly $225,000 for programs and improvements. They plan to install smart lockers for book checkouts, and are also investing further in their Americorps program. The Library says that the Americorps program “helps young people develop a love of reading, increases information literacy skills, and establishes relationships with youth that bridge the gap between in and out of school learning.”