Ann Arbor organization, Ypsilanti library receive almost $500,000 in grants

The Ypsilanti District Library is offering digital library cards to those in its service area.
The Ypsilanti District Library is offering digital library cards to those in its service area. (Ypsilanti District Library Facebook page)

ANN ARBOR – The Ypsilanti District Library and the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development in Ann Arbor have received over $490,000 in combined grant monies to strengthen library services and community connectedness. 

Announced by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) on Monday, the funding was provided through the Institute on Museum and Library Services and its programs to improve the quality of libraries, develop a diverse librarian workforce and better connect libraries to the communities they serve. 

“In the middle of this global pandemic, libraries and librarians still have a very important role to play,” said Dingell in a release. “With this critical support, librarians will now be better suited to connect virtually with their communities and share activity and learning opportunities for children and their parents.”

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The Ypsilanti District Library received $249,788 in grant funding, which will develop its early literacy program, TALK: Text and Learn for Kindergarten.

The program helps parents to improve school readiness in children through activity suggestions via text messaging. Librarians will receive training on the service, which will be further developed through promotional and partnership toolkits as well as implementation development. 

Ann Arbor-based not-for-profit organization University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, also known as Internet2, received a total of $242,640. The grant funding will go towards improving the organization’s Broadband Toolkit and custom Broadband Improvement Plan.

The two resources help librarians understand broadband infrastructure and internal information technology environments, as well as advocate for library broadband infrastructure needs.

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