50 Grantees Will Utilize ODL CARES Act Funds to Improve Digital Inclusion

Fifty Oklahoma institutions and organizations have been awarded Digital Inclusion Grants totaling $290,000 from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, courtesy of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the CARES Act legislation passed by Congress.

This is the second of the CARES Act grants that ODL has awarded. The first grant addressed the health and safety needs of libraries and cultural institutions. You can see these PPE Grant recipients here. Together, the two grants provided $350,000 for COVID-19 response.

This second grant was designed to help public libraries, tribal libraries and cultural centers, adult literacy programs, and museums expand access to their digital services and enhance digital inclusion in their communities. The current pandemic has been a harsh reminder of the digital divide that exists in our state and nation, and ODL planned these CARES Act grants to help more Oklahomans access important services online.

Grantees plan a variety of services, ranging from checking out hotspots and devices with cellular service to patrons, to providing Internet-accessible devices for use in the library to promote social distancing, to enhancing the reach of WiFi in and around the institutions’ buildings.

In addition to purchasing one-year data plans for loanable devices, some grantees are also using funds for indirect expenses, including installation, protective cases, charging stations for devices, and shipping costs.

ODL received 68 grant applications, and 50 of those applications met the IMLS criteria for the service population targeted (poverty level, unemployment rate, and lack of access to broadband). They also requested eligible equipment and devices for expanding access to their existing digital services. We are pleased we were able to provide some funding for all 50 of the qualifying applicants.

Digital Inclusion grant recipients, award amounts, and plans for the funds are listed below by U.S. Congressional District and then by city or town:


U.S. Congressional District One

Bartlesville

Bartlesville Public Library Literacy Services: $5,000 will be used to provide four laptops for use and checkout by the program’s adult learners. Office software will also be purchased for use by students.

Bartlesville Public Library: A $9,240 grant will be used to purchase hotspots for check out to patrons.

Tulsa

Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab: A $15,000 grant will fund a Discovery Lab Ozobot Outreach series targeting 3rd—5th graders in underserved schools. The lab will purchase 24 Ozobot Robot kits and 24 WiFi tablets for use in the educational coding program.

Tulsa City-County Library: $10,000 will be used to provide hotspots for checkout to customers.


U.S. Congressional District Two

Antlers

Antlers Public Library: $4,800 will provide five tablets for loan and use in the library.

Langley

Langley Public Library: A $4,874 grant will allow the library to purchase 16 laptops for loan to patrons and for use in the library.

Miami

Miami Public Library: The library’s $15,000 grant will be used to upgrade and expand WiFi in and around the library and to purchase five hotspots and six laptops for circulation in the community.

Miami Public Library Adult Literacy Program: $4,400 will provide 20 hotspot devices for use by adult learners.

Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma Library: $5,000 will purchase a total of 40 devices: laptops, tablets, and hotspots for tribal members.

Okemah

Okemah Public Library: The library will use $4,715 to provide 16 hotspots for use in the community. In addition, data plans will be purchased for the library’s three existing hotspots.

Okmulgee

Okmulgee Public Library: $2,382 will provide four laptops and five hotspots for loan.

Poteau

Literacy Council of LeFlore County: $4,214 will allow the council to purchase two computers for literacy instruction, plus four laptops and four hotspots for checkout by adult learners for distance learning.


U.S. Congressional District Three

Anadarko

Anadarko Community Library: A $4,983 grant will provide seven portable laptops with office software to reduce wait times for internet and computer use and to allow for easier social distancing.

Altus

Great Plains Literacy Council (Jackson and Harmon counties): $5,000 will be used to provide four mobile hotspots and four tablets to be used with ELL (English Language Learners) adult learners and tutors. Digital literacy training will also be provided to tutors and students.

Southern Prairie Library System (Jackson and Harmon counties): A $14,896 grant will provide 12 hotspots and 14 tablets for circulation within the two-county system’s service area.

Apache

Apache Public Library: The $5,000 grant to provide public access computers and laptops in the library, plus two hotspots and two tablets for checkout.

Barnsdall

Barnsdall Public Library: A $5,000 grant will upgrade monitors for existing public internet stations, provide two new public-acccess computers, a new laptop, and a webcam to allow patrons to participate in virtual meetings.

Beaver

Beaver County Pioneer Library: $5,000 will provide new desktop computers, a laptop, and software to improve internet access for the community.

Blackwell

Blackwell Public Library: The library’s $4,987 grant will provide five hotspots, data plans for existing library hotspots, four laptops for patron use and checkout, and enhanced WiFi in and around the library building.

Cleveland

Jay C. Byers Memorial Library: $3,570 will allow the library to purchase 10 mobile hotspots for patron checkout.

El Reno

El Reno Carnegie Library: $3,473 will be used to purchase five hotspots and seven tablets for loan to community members.

Elk City

Elk City Carnegie Library: $13,020 will provide the library with five customizable tablets patrons can self check-out to view the library’s digital content and surf the web. The tablets can be used anywhere in the library to promote social distancing.

Fairview

Fairview City Library: $11,566 will provide the community library with seven new public desktop stations to improve internet access and 15 tablets for loan.

Hydro

Hydro Public Library: $1,400 will go toward improving WiFi reach and providing four touchscreen tablets for patrons.

Kaw City

JA Walker Memorial Library: $5,000 will be used to expand WiFi coverage in and around the building and purchase seven laptops for patron use.

Kaw Nation Tribal Library: The tribe’s $5,000 grant will bring a Smart TV into the library and provide six tablets for patron use.

Laverne

Laverne Delphian Library: $2,950 will provide two laptops and two hotspots for checkout.

Mooreland

Beyond the Pages Library: Mooreland’s public library will use $3,413 to purchase five mobile hotspots plus 13 tablets for patrons.

Newkirk

Newkirk Public Library: A $4,642 grant will provide 10 laptops and a tablet for patron use.

Pawhuska

Pawhuska Public Library : A $1,347 grant will allow the library to expand WiFi reach in and around the building.

Perkins

Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Library: A $3,750 grant will let the library provide six laptops to facilitate internet access for tribal members.

Sayre

Sayre Public Library: $5,000 will provide 10 touchscreen laptop computers for use by library customers.

Tryon

Tryon Public Library: $4,515 will be used to purchase additional desktop computers for internet access, as well as 10 laptops. Five mobile hotspots will be available for circulation.

Woodward

Northwest Oklahoma Literacy Council: $4,532 will provide eight tablets with hotspot data plans for use and checkout by adult learners.

Woodward Public Library: A $7,500 grant will supply the library with 12 tablets and 20 hotspots with data plans for circulation in the community.

Yukon

Mabel C. Fry Public Library: $5,000 will allow Yukon’s public library to expand WiFi access outside the building and provide a laptop with hotspot data service for loan.


U.S. Congressional District Four

Ada

Ada Public Library: $8,140 will be used to purchase six tablets and 10 hotspots to circulate in the community.

Pontotoc County Literacy Coalition: $3,300 will provide two laptops and a tablet for use by adult learners.

Ardmore

Southern Oklahoma Library System (Carter, Love, Johnston, Atoka, and Murray counties): $12,100 will provide 35 hotspots for check out and a mobile wireless hub that will let a system van serve as a traveling WiFi access point for underserved populations without a digital connection.

Duncan

Duncan Area Literacy Council: The literacy council will use $4,720 to purchase 10 hotspots and 10 laptops for use by adult learners.

Grandfield

Grandfield Public Library: $5,000 will provide five laptops for patron use as well as equipment to upgrade WiFi service in the library.

Lawton

Lawton Public Library: $5,035 will allow the library to provide five laptops for patrons and five hotspots for loan as well as mobile management software for security purposes.

Midwest City

Literacy Link, Inc.: To assist adult learners, $5,000 will be used to purchase six laptop computers with software and mobile data plans.

Maysville

Maysville Public Library: $4,345 will provide five new computers to improve Internet access for community members.

Mustang

Mustang Public Library : A $4,947 grant will be used to purchase five convertible laptop/tablet computers for patron use.

Piedmont

Piedmont Public Library: $1,080 will provide three mobile hotspots for patron check-out.

Ringling

Gleason Memorial Library: $3,654 will expand the WiFi range to allow Internet access outside Ringling’s public library building and provide two laptops for patron use.


U.S. Congressional District Five

Arcadia

Arcadia Historical and Preservation Society: $3,010 will be used to extend the range of WiFi in the historic round barn and to purchase three laptop computers for use by visitors.

Oklahoma City

Opportunities Industrialization Center of Oklahoma County: A $9,500 grant will help the non-profit improve WiFi service in their building and will provide 22 mobile hotspots for loan to adult learners.

Seminole

Seminole Public Library: $5,000 will bring a Kids Education Station to the library for Seminole’s youngest library patrons. Seven hotspots will also be available for circulation in the community.