ARPA Grant supports expanded library services

Thanks to grant funding, Round Rock Public Library will expand the wildly popular outdoor hold lockers, add two new subscription services, and hire a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant.

These projects will offer increased access to library resources and services, particularly to community members who have experienced greater disruption during the pandemic.

One of the subscriptions, O’Reilly Books for Libraries, will bring more than 43,000 books and 30,000 hours of videos to support the business and technology needs of everyone from hobbyists to professionals seeking career advancement.

The other subscription brings the highly rated Pimsleur Language Program to the Overdrive collection, giving library cardholders access to even more language learning tools.

The library received the grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Grants Program. The library will begin implementation of its grant plan in February 2022.

This project is just one of 40 made possible this year by approximately $1.8 million in new grant funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

“Communities across the state will benefit from the resources and services made possible with this funding. Libraries will be able to increase access to digital resources and technologies as well as to support education, workforce readiness and other local needs as libraries continue their critical work serving their communities,” said TSLAC Director and Librarian Gloria Meraz.

“We are thrilled to be able to advance some truly transformational projects designed to offer Texans the tools necessary to meet the ever-changing needs of their families and communities,” said Texas State Library and Archives Commission Chair Martha Wong. “These funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services are essential in allowing us to support the work carried out statewide by the informational professionals and citizens whom we serve.”

In 2021, the library responded to changing customer priorities by installing holds lockers for customers to access materials outside of the building, launching a homebound delivery service for customers who are not able to travel to the library, and participating in the PLA Inclusive Internship Initiative. “We hope to continue this momentum into 2022 by offering more access to resources and services, especially to our customers who were directly impacted by the pandemic, economic disruptions, and racial inequities,” said Library Director Michelle Cervantes.

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