CARES ACT graphic
July 8, 2020

The State Library of Ohio is pleased to announce its new CARES Act Mini-Grant Program to help all types of libraries in Ohio respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The process by which these funds can be obtained has been streamlined to help libraries get the funds they need as soon as possible. Stimulus funding for this grant comes to the State Library via LSTA funds from the federal appropriation made to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, libraries have prioritized the health and safety of their communities while still providing vital services and resources for every Ohioan’s informational, educational, or recreational needs,” expressed Wendy J. Knapp, State Librarian of Ohio. “Across our state and the country, library staff are sharing best practices with each other, from the most effective ways to provide virtual services, to starting curbside pickups, to carefully reopening their buildings.  The State Library of Ohio is pleased to announce the opportunity for any library in Ohio to apply for a mini-grant to support the work of these libraries as they adjust to a new normal.”

The State Library’s CARES Act Mini-Grant Program provides Ohio’s libraries the opportunity to receive $3,000 in stimulus funds for use in three different ways:

  1. Purchase of technology and/or equipment that expands the library’s Internet connectivity and community outreach
  2. Purchase of support materials for specific changes in service models due to COVID-19, such as new curbside services
  3. Purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) for library staff and library fixtures, such as plexiglass shields, barriers, and signage, to maintain safety of patrons and staff

A non-exhaustive list of examples of items that may be purchased in each category is provided in the grant application. In addition, many traditional grant application barriers have been waived as a part of this stimulus grant program.

“The staff at the State Library of Ohio worked tirelessly with staff from IMLS to ensure the application process for these grants is as simple and straightforward as possible,” acknowledged Knapp. “I am thrilled with the streamlined process for these grants in order to get the assistance to libraries and the communities they serve in the quickest, most efficient manner possible.”

A brief tutorial on how to apply for the CARES Act Mini-Grant and how the grant funds may be spent is available here.

Applications will be received through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 31st, or until the allotted stimulus funds are expended. Grantees will have until June 30, 2021 to expend the $3,000 mini-grant.

UPDATE – Due to the tremendous response, the State Library of Ohio’s CARES Act Mini-Grant application period will be closing Friday, August 14, 2020 (11:59 pm).

For questions related to this LSTA grant initiative, please contact: LSTA@library.ohio.gov.

Media Contact:

Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Public Information Officer and Director, Marketing & Communications (614) 644-6875 marshams@library.ohio.gov