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Appalachian Regional Library Awarded $25,000 Federal Grant to Fund Technology Investments at Local Libraries

The Appalachian Regional Library has been awarded a $25,000 grant to be used to purchase technology that will directly serve the people of Ashe, Watauga, and Wilkes Counties.  The purchase of the equipment was supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-250229-OLS-21). 

These federal funds are investments that help libraries deliver relevant and up-to-date services for their communities. At Watauga County Public Library, the SLNC Adapts LSTA grant will purchase OWL-Pro, a 360-degree camera, mic, and speaker combined into one device which will facilitate hybrid meetings in our community room, a copier/printer/fax for our adult services department and a new printer for our computer lab, and four Dell laptops that can be borrowed with a library card.  

County Librarian, Monica Caruso said “library users can borrow a laptop for work or personal use, use our printer/scan/fax services in-house or reserve our meeting room and OWL-Pro for a professional hybrid meeting.”  Regional Director Jane Blackburn added “All of our libraries have worked hard to serve the public during the difficult circumstances of the past year and a half. This grant will enable us to continue to provide – and to expand – technology services to our users.”

Appalachian Regional Library received one of the 45 competitive grants for SLNC Adapts grants awarded to North Carolina libraries. The State Library of North Carolina received funds as part of the federal government’s investment in museums and libraries through the American Rescue Plan Act, which provided additional funds to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to support vital library programs and services in local communities.  The LSTA grant program administered by the State Library of North Carolina funds library projects across the state that advance excellence and promote equity by strengthening capacity, expanding access, and community engagement in North Carolina’s libraries. 

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. Through the LSTA Grants to States program IMLS provides funds to State Library agencies using a population-based formula. State libraries may use the appropriation to support statewide initiatives and services; they may also distribute the funds through competitive subgrants to public and academic libraries.  To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov

For more information about North Carolina’s LSTA program visit the State Library of North Carolina’s LSTA web page at https://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/services-libraries/grants-libraries/lsta-grant-information or contact the State Library’s Federal Programs Consultant at 919-814-6796.