Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives Awards 20 Workforce Grants for Laptop/Hotspot Lending Program
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2020) – The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC), has awarded grants to 20 Kentucky public libraries for laptop and hotspot lending programs focused on helping Kentucky residents with workforce and educational activities.
KDLA’s Workforce Grants will provide for kits consisting of a computer laptop and Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as funding for up to two years of hotspot service for each library. The recipient libraries also will provide services or programming related to workforce needs such as job searches or digital literacy skills. Fourteen of the selected libraries will receive five laptops and hotspots, and six libraries will receive 10 laptops and hotspots. The libraries lend the laptops and hotspot service to adult patrons to take home to support lifelong learning and employment goals.
“Public libraries have always been a place where people can come to get information, knowledge and education for free. That is even more important this year when so many people have to use computers and Wi-Fi for work and school from home during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, secretary of EWDC.
“Unfortunately, many Kentuckians cannot afford or don’t have access to computers or Wi-Fi, especially in rural areas. That means they can’t look for jobs online or write and send their resume or take a class online, so they are at a disadvantage in so many ways. KDLA’s Workforce Grants help close that digital divide and give Kentuckians who lack computers and home internet access the opportunity to participate,” she said.
Funding for these grants came from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (ILMS) Grants to States Program, the largest source of federal funding support for library services in the United States. ILMS’s first year of funding for the program is $239,288 and includes the cost of the laptop and the first year of hotspot service.
“KDLA is pleased to assist these communities, many of which were struggling economically before the additional burdens levied by COVID-19, through this hotspot/laptop lending project. Residents of these communities will now, with the assistance of their local libraries, have the opportunity to search for employment, apply for jobs, participate in online education, and participate in community activities,” said Terry Manuel, commissioner of KDLA, state librarian, and archives and records administrator.
Libraries were chosen through a competitive application process. The KDLA Workforce Grant was awarded to the following libraries:
- Breathitt County Public Library, five laptops
- Estill County Public Library, five laptops
- Garrard County Public Library, five laptops
- Green County Public Library, five laptops
- Kenton County Public Library, five laptops
- Lincoln County Public Library, 10 laptops
- Logan County Public Library, 10 laptops
- Marshall County Public Library, five laptops
- Mary Wood Weldon Memorial Library in Barren County, 10 laptops
- McCracken County Public Library, five laptops
- McCreary County Public Library, five laptops
- Muhlenberg County Public Libraries, 10 laptops
- Oldham County Public Library, 10 laptops
- Pendleton County Public Library, five laptops
- Pike County Public Library District, five laptops
- Powell County Public Library, five laptops
- Pulaski County Public Library, five laptops
- Russell County Public Library, five laptops
- Spencer County Public Library, 10 laptops
- Trimble County Public Library, five laptops
KDLA provides equitable access to quality library and information resources and services, as well as helps public agencies ensure that legislatively mandated documentation of government programs is created, efficiently maintained and made accessible.
For more information on KDLA resources, programs and services visit www.kdla.ky.gov or call 502-564-1702.
Garrard Works! Laptops Circulating March 1, 2021!
Starting Monday, March 1, we are trying something new at the library. Thanks to a grant from IMLS and facilitated by Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, the library will start circulating laptops to our patrons. Laptops will come with a mobile hotspot so that patrons can access the internet from home and work on job applications, filing for unemployment, completing class assignments and more. Participants will also receive a free 2G flash drive to save their work on the computer that they can keep. And we are also providing help using the laptops for those of us who are not as tech savvy as others. During library operating hours, you can arrange for a zoom appointment with a librarian to help you work on your resume, fill out applications or learn a new skill in Microsoft Office. Laptops can be checked out for three weeks. We are really excited to offer this new service to Garrard County residents. You must have an established library card and be over 18 to check out a laptop. So what do we mean by established library card? You must have applied for a card and checked out books or movies at least once and returned them on time to establish an account. We know that Covid is making it hard for everyone to get things done and this new laptop lending program is a chance for us to help people in our community who are struggling during this trying time. Need more information? Call us at 859-782-3424 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Library Advisory Board Members Needed!