State Library of Ohio Board Awards $233,094 in LSTA Grants
The State Library Board recently awarded $233,094 in grants to one public school, five public libraries, and two library organizations. Federal funding for the grants is from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).
Akron Public Schools, Bucyrus Public Library, and Cuyahoga Falls Library were awarded Ohio LSTA STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Grants. The purpose of the STEM or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Grant is to assist libraries in preparing youth to be active learners and provide youth who will be the workforce of tomorrow with a competitive edge in a globalized, high-tech marketplace.
The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County was awarded a (digital) Literacy Grant. The purpose of the Literacy Grant is to Support the library role in the learning experience where literacy is defined as the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms and tools, and it encompasses early literacy, digital literacy, functional literacy, and others.
Lorain Public Library System and OhioLINK were awarded Ohio LSTA Outreach and Partnership Grants. The purpose of the Partnership Grant is to assist in providing new and innovative ways of providing services to users and potential users and assist in reaching individuals at a range of locations and through a variety of methods.
In addition, St. Marys Community Library was awarded a Services to Targeted Populations Grant for a digital literacy project and OHIONET received a Training Grant.
“The LSTA grants provide important opportunities for the State Library of Ohio to bridge the work being done for library patrons from the federal to local level,” expressed State Librarian Wendy Knapp. “Empowering libraries of all types to explore new programs or projects to better serve their communities with the support of federal funds is one of the most gratifying duties of the SLO all year.”
The awarded grants include:
Akron Public Schools
Federal funds will be used to support training, maker kit materials, and student internships to implement a project that will strengthen STEM education through hands-on maker kit projects that Akron Public Schools high school students will create for middle school students. Project objectives include strengthening STEM education for middle and high school students, providing hands-on experience with creative design, and giving students a new opportunity to be independent, active learners better prepared with the skills to transition to the pathway of their choosing.
Bucyrus Public Library
Federal funds will be used to support a new grab-and-go STEM/STEAM club for area homeschool students. Approximately 200 area homeschool students, ages 6 and up, will benefit from this hands-on program, which will help foster a love of science and discovery. The Bucyrus Public Library anticipates this program will strengthen the connection between the homeschool community.
Cuyahoga Falls Library
Federal funds will be used to purchase 3D equipment, Chromebooks and laptops to create an outreach program to local schools for the purpose of instructing students remotely in 3D print design, forging new partnerships within the community and sharing all that the library’s MakerSpace has to offer. The Cuyahoga Falls Library anticipates this STEM/STEAM project will create a partnership with local schools so that students and teachers recognize CFL as a dependable place to receive 21st century skills that will move them forward in technology, creativity, problem solving, and design thinking.
Lorain Public Library System
Federal funds will be used to purchase necessary technology and equipment to create an antenna-based LTE network that will provide free internet access to seniors, combatting the vast inequities caused by lack of internet access within the city of Lorain. At least 50 seniors will be provided free internet and a device with which to access and utilize the network. LPLS expects the majority of participants will use the network to access critical resources such as telehealth and wellness resources. An increase of awareness and knowledge of library resources, including programming and digital resources, is also expected.
Federal funds will be used for training and professional development for the student workers from under-represented populations enrolled at OhioLINK member institutions across Ohio. The objective of this Outreach & Partnerships Grant is to engage students in stimulating, positive library work experiences, with 1-to-1 support/mentorship, to encourage them to consider a career in libraries, and provide Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) training and ongoing support to make academic libraries a more welcoming and inclusive place for under-represented library and information science professionals.
The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County
PLYMC will use federal funds to provide training in connected-learning for programming staff by library consultant and trainer Linda W. Braun. Staff members will use the connected-learning approach to teach and enhance digital and 21st century skills for teen and new adult populations. PLYMC hopes to train 60 staff members, which will not only re-emphasize their role in the community, but also fill potential digital literacy gaps and enhance what they have already learned via their education.
St. Marys Community Library
Targeting lower-income populations, this project will develop a circulating collection of digital literacy items in various formats. The project will expand St. Marys’ outreach, virtual and in-house program offerings. Funds will also be used to better equip meeting space within the library, enabling the library to leverage formal and informal partnerships within the community.
Federal funds for the Training Grant will be used for to support the 2021 Library Leadership Ohio program. Library Leadership Ohio allows library staff from all library types around the state to define, refine, and inspire their leadership skills and potential.
IMLS is an independent federal agency that provides library grants, museum grants, policy development, and research. For more than 50 years, the LSTA Grants to States program and its predecessor programs have supported the delivery of library services in the U.S. The State Library of Ohio administers the federally funded LSTA program in Ohio.