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Elbert County Libraries land two federal grants for a mobile computer lab and remote library outlet
Elbert County libraries Awarded $33,177 in federal grants to enhance library operations. One grant, for $22,721, is for a mobile computer lab in Simla. The second for $10,456 is for a library outlet in an underserved area of NW Elbert County.
By: Elbert County Library District
One of the grants, amounting to $22,721, was awarded for a mobile computer lab to be located at the Simla branch library and was part of the Colorado State Library‘s $2.3 million grant received to support computer centers in Colorado under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The lab, in partnership with local area nonprofit and government agencies, will travel around the county to offer targeted training opportunities. Over ten community partners wrote letters of support, helping bring this grant to Elbert County. Simla library branch manager Sharon Hall said she looks forward to working with community partners such as the Division of Wildlife, Big Sandy School District, and the Colorado Workforce Center to provide computer-based training.
The second grant for $10,456 supports a remote library service outlet at a fire station in an underserved area of northwest Elbert County; the funds are being provided under the Library Services and Technology Act. The Elbert County Library District, in partnership with the Elizabeth Fire Protection District, will add a small service outlet available to patrons in the area around Singing Hills. A small, popular reading collection and location to pick up and return materials placed on hold through the library’s online catalog will be located within the Singing Hills Fire Station. The outlet will be staffed two days per week, and a book drop will be located outside of the Fire Station for returns during the week. According to the district library director, Kari Baumann, the Library District looks forward to working with the Elizabeth Fire Protection District to provide increased library services to our Elbert County communities.
Colorado State Library awarded $3.3 million in federal grants for public computer centers.
Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. and Commissioner of Education Dwight D. Jones announced Sept. 27 that the Colorado State Library secured a $2.3 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to open new and upgraded public computer centers in 76 communities, including tribal and public libraries. The grant is part of a total of $3.3 million that will be used to add 692 laptop computers, 451 desktop computers, 69 computer stations that are accessible to people with disabilities in centers that serve 2.3 million children and adults, with a special focus on communities with limited access to public computers and high-speed Internet.
“Providing greater access to free computers and high-speed Internet is critical to advancing our education and job training goals in Colorado,” said Gov. Ritter. “Congratulations to the State Library and its many partners for winning this important grant to help Colorado bridge the digital divide.”
“Education is a life-long pursuit and these labs and training will help those with the most need gain the education and skills to succeed,” said Commissioner Jones.
Eugene Hainer, Assistant Commissioner of the Colorado State Library, said: “These additional computers will reduce wait times in public libraries and allow state and local agencies to provide training and support for those with highest need.”
The grant was awarded in a competitive process through the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA). The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided $754,000 in financial support and local libraries and community organizations provided matching and in-kind donations worth $316,234 for a total of $3,345,760.
Participating communities were selected based on a formula that examined poverty, ethnicity and current public computer access. Along with computers, the grant will increase public training on computer use, job skills, health resources, e-government and education. The initiative includes many partners, including the Colorado Department of Labor, local work force centers, the community college system, College in Colorado, Adult Education/Family Literacy and GED and the National Library of Health. Local partners in each community, including Elbert County, will help provide economic development and support for small business development, employment resources, online training for firefighters and genealogy assistance.
Libraries Awarded Grants for Key Projects
The Colorado State Library today awarded grants to 10 schools, public and academic libraries for innovative projects designed to improve library services and lifelong learning, including Elbert County Library District.
The proposals are funded through the federal Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) allocation to the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado State Library.
This year’s grants total over $400,000. All grants addressed a goal in the long-range plan that Colorado libraries will provide services to support educational achievement and lifelong learning of Colorado residents, people with disabilities, ethnic populations, institutional residents, and those underserved by libraries.
About the Elbert County Library District. ECLD provides materials, programs, expertise and facilities to support the cultural, educational, and leisure activities of the Elbert County communities. On the Web: www.elbertcountylibrary.org. Executive director is Ms. Kari Baumann at 303 646-3792.
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Elbert County Libraries Foundation enhances the Elbert County Library District by raising, managing and allocating funds to expand and improve the facilities, programs and services of its libraries.