Have you been to a Michigan library lately? You may be in for a big surprise.
Libraries offer a lot more than just books, and there’s even more that’s coming, thanks to a huge multi-million-dollar grant.
We spoke to Steve Bowers, the executive director of the Library Network, to get the details on what’s coming.
The money comes from the American Rescue Plan Act Grants (also known as ARPA). They gave $200 million to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which, in turn gave $4 million to the state of Michigan to use in their libraries.
Michigan libraries are using this money to fund two big projects. One is called MI-83, for the 83 counties in Michigan, and focuses on bringing more technology to our libraries.
Libraries across the state received Chromebooks, tablets, and laptops for their communities to use. This will allow people to more easily get online and access resources the library has digitally. Some libraries even offer for you to check out a computer for at-home use.
The other project bought several ebooks and audiobooks for people to access statewide.
Now that quarantines are over and libraries are opening back up, many new programs are launching also, thanks to new resources provided by the grant money.
Programs like book clubs, author chats, community discussions, library instructions, and guest lectures can be found online.
There will also be in-person programs starting back up in the libraries, as well as some new outside programs like story times, guest speakers, community theater, local performing artists and award ceremonies.
To find out more about all the programs offered, click or tap here.