The Institute of Museum and Library Services has announced that President Biden has signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), which designates $200 million in pandemic response funding for IMLS. On March 10, both chambers of Congress approved the stimulus plan, a $1.9 trillion response to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
The $200 million investment will enable IMLS to efficiently provide critical funding to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs), located in every state and territory and with reach into local communities across the U.S. IMLS will also offer grants to museums, libraries, and Native American and Native Hawaiian communities, so that they may to continue to respond to the COVID-19 health emergency.
Wyoming will receive $2.1 million in funds from this legislation to benefit the Wyoming library community. The Wyoming State Library is putting together a task force with members from all types of libraries to help guide the State Librarian in allocating these funds. The IMLS has not released full grant guidance yet, but subgrants to individual libraries are not anticipated.
“The coronavirus pandemic persists in taking its harsh toll on communities. This infusion of support for America’s vital community institutions is crucial,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “The need for access to information for health, job, educational, and unemployment resources continues across the country, especially in communities that were already vulnerable. We are dedicated to reaching those who need this funding the most as quickly as we can, through U.S. states and territories and directly to libraries and museums.”
The passage of ARPA comes one year after the 2020 WHO declaration of the coronavirus pandemic. In March 2020, $50 million in CARES Act funding was also allocated for IMLS. For more information about IMLS CARES Act awards, please visit imls.gov/coronavirus.