SLNC Adapts Awards
The State Library of North Carolina proudly announces the SLNC Adapts Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant awardees. The 45 awards, totaling nearly $1.6 million, support local library projects that target high-need communities to address digital inclusion, expand digital network access, purchase internet-accessible devices, provide related technical support in response to the coronavirus, and support community needs.
Appalachian Regional Library
Appalachian Regional Adapts:$25,000.00
Appalachian Regional will continue to expand its capability to provide technology and digital services to its patrons. The Library will increase wi-fi reach at each of the main county libraries, increase the number of laptops available for checkout, provide hybrid in-person/Zoom meeting capability in each of the main libraries, and copier/fax/print capability at one main library for patron use.
Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library System
Expanding AMY Regional Outreach:$49,213.00
AMY Regional Library will use funds to purchase an Outreach vehicle that will expand services to include technology checkouts, internet hotspots, and opportunities for patrons who do not have digital literacy skills to learn these through a digital navigator. This project will be data driven, with multiple community partners assisting in providing information from patrons and clients who they serve. The community served is a high needs community with individuals and families geographically distanced or physically unable to visit public library facilities. These are patrons facing numerous barriers to trusted information, mental and physical health resources, transportation access, and internet availability, in addition to being disproportionally affected by Covid-19.
Campbell University commuter students from surrounding Harnett County need access to computers more than ever because of increased at-home study caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has highlighted a greater need of laptops to supplement at-home study for students still reluctant to visit the library, and for those whose lives are not conveniently organized around time on campus.
Carteret Community College
The COVID-19 global pandemic exacerbated the need for technology at Carteret Community College. With students taking classes electronically, faculty teaching virtually, and staff working remotely, the library started a Technology Lending Program to help the members of its community to be successful in this environment. With the assistance of this grant, the library would like to expand the offerings of the lending program and to provide an appropriate work space for students. Specifically, the library will purchase tablets, e-readers, webcams, digital cameras, microphones, speakers, scanners, and virtual reality headsets as well as the sleeves, bags, or carrying cases to easily and safely circulate this equipment.
Catawba College/Corriher Linn Black Library
PBL Increasing Equity & Access:$25,000.00
The project’s goal will provide equity and access to Catawba students so they can experience emerging technologies and virtual travel as they solve real-world problems that lead to ideas and experiences that can be leveraged as these students embark on internships, graduate school, or the job market. With the large number of Pell grant students (40%) at Catawba, an intentional effort to provide these opportunities is critical so students have experiences that enable them to continue their education or begin their careers. Using immersive experiential learning strategies increases inclusivity as all students can participate and engage either by using, creating and/or developing with the AR/VR technologies. Catawba College will provide access to AR/VR technology to students engaged in problem-based learning projects from across curriculum areas. By providing access to this technology, students move beyond travel constraints imposed by COVID protocols, budgeting concerns or mobility challenges and can virtually discover the world, and identify and design solutions to real world problems.
Catawba County Library
Wi-Fi for All Extended:$22,014.00
The Wi-Fi for All Extended project will continue to provide free public access to wireless internet in convenient locations in the community and supply Internet enabled devices for individuals to borrow from the library. Focusing on expanding free access to broadband Internet on simple devices and at locations convenient to community members who cannot afford their own device or to have the Internet at home. This project benefits all Catawba County citizens including school children, those in the workforce, employers, and health care patients. As a result, more people in underserved neighborhoods have critical access to the information highway, empowering them to make more informed decisions about their own situations and improve their opportunity to succeed in society.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
MeckTech is a free, refurbished laptop distribution program through the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. It is one way the Library is responding to urgent digital access needs during COVID-19 where an estimated 80,000 households in Mecklenburg County don’t have home computers. The goal is to provide computer access to eligible adult customers, during the Library’s lengthy closure and phased reopening, to assist them with workforce development, education, telehealth and other needs.
Franklin County Library
E-Literacy & Beyond:$57,520.00
The Franklin County Library is seeking funding to provide access to information resources that citizens lacking digital literacy need to navigate an ever-changing digital world. These funds will educate, train, and enable citizens to make the most of their access to the digital world. A multi-prong approach will prepare citizens for a future with more digital capabilities by creating a professional Digital Literacy video series and using emerging technology to expose the youngest citizens to STEAM principles.
Craven-Pamlico Regional Library
Craven-Pamlico Regional Library (CPRL) digital inclusion project, “Get IT!,” will use virtual reality technology to introduce seniors and the cognitive/intellectually/physically disabled to new technology and give them the opportunity to access, contribute, and benefit from technology. Virtual reality (VR) delivered through immersive headsets will provide a technology experience to the underserved Craven and Pamlico counties’ seniors and disabled individuals who have technical barriers due to disability, availability, or affordability. VR technology/hardware can easily be adapted to provide a user experience specific to individual’s needs or requirements. CPRL will lead groups of seniors and disabled to various museums, memorials, libraries, and experiences via Virtual Reality.
Craven-Pamlico Regional Library
Tops & Spots Expansion:$24,105.00
The digital inclusion project, “Tops & Spots,” will provide access to technology and bandwidth to Craven Pamlico Regional Library (CPRL) populations who, due to availability and affordability, have limited access. The main goal of the project is to decrease the digital divide for the families and individuals that fall into the technical divide by establishing a Digital Lending Library at each location. Outcomes include users of “Tops & Spots” discovering library eResources, improving access to education, providing access to workforce development, entrepreneurship, and fostering the personal and cultural growth of the patrons of CPRL.CPRL is requesting additional hardware to expand the services and impact on the Craven-Pamlico community.
Cumberland County Public Library
Connecting the Last Mile:$95,846.00
Throughout the past year, access to reliable internet and technology has been critical in communities as we have navigated COVID-19 and pivoted our ways of interacting, learning, and working. This transition to an emphasis on a virtual environment has highlighted digital inequities within Cumberland County’s communities. In Connecting the Last Mile: Digital Inclusion and Navigation Cumberland County Public Library (CCPL) will enhance digital inclusion and navigation services to the community members. This initiative will be primarily outreach focused, partnering with local organizations and county departments to not only provide access to technology and the internet, but also to fund dedicated library staff to provide and facilitate digital navigation assistance to community members.
Davidson County Public Library
Davidson County Public Library Hotspot Access:$9,576.00
Davidson County Public Library will purchase additional hotspots to circulate to patrons to assist patrons who need internet access at home for work, school, job searching, telehealth, and other needs. About 23% of the county's population have no home internet and these hotspots will assist them.
Davie County Public Library
WiFi & Remote Locker in Davie County:$44,984.00
Fulfilling a high priority from the community to create a physical presence in the northern region of Davie County, the Davie County Public Library is using funding to focus on the underserved areas in the northern region by providing remote lockers and WiFi access to the community to access the library’s resources and help close the digital divide in the county.
Fontana Regional Library
This project addresses the digital divide as it is experienced by senior citizens who lack access to the internet, who do not have digital skills, or who may not recognize the benefits of internet connectivity. The goal is to provide seniors with both the technology (including internet connectivity) and the skills they need to use digital devices to explore the internet in a way that is meaningful to them on an individual basis. The Library will provide initial home set-up and ongoing one-on-one instruction on using a Chromebook and wi-fi hotspot that participants check out for the duration of the grant period.
Fontana Regional Library
For families without home internet and for parents who may lack skills to guide their children in the online environment, non-connected devices pre-loaded with curriculum-aligned literacy learning software are a viable alternative. Fontana Regional Library will create a circulating collection of Launchpad digital learning tablets. These devices provide the advantages of “online” learning without the internet, thereby addressing the digital divide from the other side of the chasm and fostering equitable access to digital tools even without an internet connection. The Launchpads will also assist parents in learning basic digital skills as they work with their children in the parent-and-child-together modules offered on the devices.
Gardner-Webb University Library
This project will establish collaborative spaces to provide students with an area that is socially distanced and while still allows room for 3-5 students to work in small groups on projects away from other public areas. Students will have access to interactive technology and collaborative tools, like smart TVs and whiteboards.
Halifax County Public Library System
Launch Into Learning:$18,103.00
With the use of pre-loaded educational devices focusing on verbal, reading, writing, and SAT/ACT test prep skills, the students of Halifax County will be able to achieve success in learning regardless of their internet connection. These devices will be located at all five branches of the Halifax County Library System and available for in-house use as well as check out.
Haywood County Public Library
Hotspots in Demand:$4,686.00
The Haywood County Public Library will provide additional hotspot devices to meet patron's needs. Mobile hotspots have assisted with bridging the digital divide in Haywood County and promote digital literacy by enabling the user to connect their personal devices and receive internet at no cost at any location within a service area. This project will meet a hotspot gap currently being experienced by the Library due to hotspots being consistently checked out and will benefit over 28% of the county’s population lacking affordable, high-speed internet.
High Point Public Library
Technology on the Go:$99,996.00
Funding will be used to purchase a van equipped with a Cradlepoint router that can broadcast WiFi to approximately 190 users at a time. The technology van will partner with the Growdega, a mobile pantry that serves neighborhoods characterized by high SNAP participation, high unemployment, high poverty rate, low library usage, and low broadband adoption. The technology van will accompany the Growdega on their regular stops, providing access to WiFi, plus staff assistance in creating e-mail accounts, filling out job applications, creating resumes and cover letters, applying for governmental and other assistance, using their own devices or those provided by the library.
Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library
Clayton Library Device Hub:$12,061.00
The Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library will purchase WiFi hotspots and tablets to lend to patrons. Once acquired, the library will create training documents to guide users in the setting up and use of devices, create a list of online resources for homework help, Workforce Development, and Health Information, assist/train first-time device users, and hold programs at local agencies such as the Clayton Chamber of Commerce and NCWorks building.
Iredell County Public Library
Bridging the Digital Divide in Iredell County:$10,990.00
The Iredell County Public Library will offer biweekly computer classes for Iredell County residents needing assistance with workforce development (i.e. job searches and resume building) and also for the library’s senior population needing assistance with basic computer/technology skills. The library will purchase seven laptop computers, with Microsoft Office software and accessories to be utilized in a biweekly computer class.
Johnston Community College Library
Johnston Community College Library Adapts:$22,059.00
Johnston Community College's (JCC) project will be threefold: 1) to bring more accessible and equitable printing options to JCC students, 2) to expand Wi-Fi services to the public and JCC students, and 3) to make library returns safer for all library patrons. Through the purchase of a printing kiosk and Wi-Fi access points, the JCC Library will support digital inclusion for students and the local community.
eReading Made Easier:$9,600.00
Lees-McRae College is dedicated to its history as a school of opportunity. In line with this dedication, LMC strives to make liberal arts college education available to students regardless of their socio-economic background. In order to serve students with less monetary means, expose students to different technologies, and improve access to the existing ebook collection, the Dotti M. Shelton Learning Commons at Lees-McRae College plans to purchase iPads and Kindle Paperwhites to circulate among students. By offering additional technology for student use, the library will be easing access to digital content, promoting technological and information literacy skills, and building community.
Madison County Public Library
Madison County Public Library will improve wifi access at three library branches and five senior nutrition sites. In addition, hotspots and Chromebooks will be available for circulation at the library to support adult patrons who lack access, primarily due to cost and reliable service. Monthly digital literacy training will be provided at library branches based on patron identified needs and interests. As a part of the Library's collaboration with the county Senior Centers, Chromebooks will be available for circulation at the senior sites as well as training for nutrition staff and seniors to improve overall digital literacy based on their identified needs and interests.
Mauney Memorial Library
Digital Expansion Kits:$10,516.00
Mauney Memorial Library serves the Kings Mountain community; this community currently has a deep digital divide with over 30% of residents not having broadband access and over 20% having no device. To assist in creating more digital equity for the community, the library will provide digital expansion kits for citizens to checkout and utilize at home. They will consist of a Chromebook and hotspot to allow residents to have the technology they need, where they are. To ensure full digital literacy to the community, the digital expansion project will also include twice-weekly open technology labs for the public to receive instruction.
Digital Inclusion for Students:$24,992.00
About 34% of Meredith College students are Pell Grant eligible, indicating they are high need. These students lack a solid safety net when problems emerge, like a computer malfunction, a transportation problem, or a change in personal circumstances. The college response to COVID-19 confirmed there was a subset of Meredith students who were unable to get adequate computer access to support participation in online classes and meet computing power needs within specific courses. Having access to a laptop (or temporary replacement laptop) allows them to navigate those roadblocks without losing the ability to make progress in academic courses. With this grant, Meredith College will obtain computer supplies to support expanding access to these loans and develop policies and procedures to make access more equitable
Neuse Regional Library
Digital Resource Rover:$96,800.00
Neuse Regional Libraries will develop a library vehicle known as the Digital Resource Rover (DRR) which will facilitate the transportation of library materials, devices, and digital resources to destinations throughout the region. Similar to a more traditional bookmobile, the DRR will offer free Wi-Fi access as well as provide a new outlet for Library programming and marketing of digital resources to the public. The DRR will allow for expansion and continuation throughout the region of many of the Library's existing programs in the categories of workforce development, digital media training, STEM education, early literacy, and increased access to technology. The DRR will allow the Library to bring the benefits of these programs to identified areas like public housing apartments where lack of public transportation creates a barrier to access, as well as to schools and other partner organizations throughout Lenoir, Jones and Greene Counties.
Onslow County Public Library
Building connected communities are essential to the success of Onslow County Public Library’s mission. With new programs, the Library plan's to continue to build and enhance digital learning, career readiness programs, technology training to continually meet the needs of the community with devices, hotspots, and training for patrons to use.
Orange County Public Library
Bridging Service Gaps:$25,000.00
Orange County Public Library seeks to fill gaps in existing services by addressing all three core areas of digital inclusion – access to the internet, access to devices, and skills to use both. The goal is to offer a scalable and sustainable package of services that can address a patron’s specific needs. Chromebooks will be checked out with or without a wifi hotspot with unlimited data. Existing technology instruction and support services will be improved by adding integrated video chat, remote support, and phone options. The reach of these services will be extended through a website with technology tutorials and the creation of custom content to address local needs. A new hybrid model of technology instruction using a flipped classroom pedagogical approach will be developed using the strengths of face-to-face and online learning.
Perry Memorial Library
Perry Memorial Library’s Spontaneous Stories project will provide access to intergenerational literacy opportunities in Vance County through the use of Short Story Cubes. The focus of Spontaneous Stories is to design a fun, accessible, and interactive experience for users that boosts literacy, and engages the community by connecting people and starting conversations. The portable, multi-lingual Story Cubes allow for on the go programming that can be used throughout the county providing digital inclusion and equity for all users. The Spontaneous Stories project provides users with the historical, oral tradition of storytelling and the free literature can be used by educators to teach empathy, complex thinking, confidence, community, communication.
Person County Public Library
Advancing Digital Inclusion:$24,462.00
The need to address and advance digital inclusion in Person County is evident in the statistics, and real-world experiences and requests from Person County residents. Addressing these needs will advance digital inclusion in Person County. By providing residents with access to the internet and digital technologies, with opportunities to build their digital literacy skills and job skills, with assistance for navigating the digital world, and access to digital tools and resources that provide civic, social, and cultural opportunities, the Person County Library will move the community forward in creating digital inclusion, digital equity, and digital literacy, that spans generations, socio-economics, education levels, and the rural-urban divide.
Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield
The Public Library of Johnston County & Smithfield is looking to become an outward facing digital extension hub and provide internet access to assist students, patrons, and communities within Johnston County through lending hotspots. With the PLJCS Digital Extension Initiative, the Library can begin to decrease the digital divide footprint by expanding outreach capacity and leveling the playing field for broadband access that the residents of Johnston County may be lacking or in need.
Richmond Community College
This project will increase the number of devices available to students to ensure that all Richmond CC students have the technology required to successfully complete their coursework. The project will add 35 laptops and five hotspots that will be available to students on the College's main campus in Hamlet as well as the satellite campus in Laurinburg. Laptops and hotspots will be available for one week at a time or for the entire semester, depending on the student's need.
Rockingham County Public Library
Bridging the Divide:$44,825.00
COVID-19 has had a sizable impact on the community of Rockingham County; reliable internet access is now a necessity in day to day life. By improving existing service at the library, through new network equipment, the library can continue to provide reliable internet access to residents. Additionally, adding charging stations and circulating power packs at branch libraries to provide opportunities to charge electronic devices for patrons who do not have easy access to a power source.
Rutherford County Library
Addressing Digital Needs:$23,193.00
Through new technology and better digital content and related resources, particularly in support of education, health, and workforce development needs, the library's position to address the digital divide the county is facing will be enhanced. With these supplies, the library will provide residents with better tools to access the internet in a more secure setting.
Rutherford County Library
Bookmobile Across the Divide:$100,000.00
A mobile library will benefit community members living and working outside of a 10-mile radius of the physical libraries. Rural communities often lack comprehensive public transit systems and many residents do not have reliable transportation A bookmobile will allow patrons to connect to the Internet via a mobile hot-spot ahead of Broadband availability in their area and /or their ability to secure those services financially. By having an equipped bookmobile at community and educational events throughout the year and pre-designated daily/weekly stops the bookmobile will provide patrons with additional offsite programming, materials for circulation, computers and printers, classes relating to digital usage, job skills, and general computer knowledge, and Wi-Fi for school, shopping, job searching and skills, and telehealth appointments. In addition, the library will be able to take its’ famous Charlie Cart on the road for healthy cooking demos.
Sandhill Regional Library
Laptops On The Go:$24,846.00
Sandhill Regional Library will use the funds from the grant to purchase approximately 41 laptop computers for use at the Region’s fifteen branch libraries. The availability of these laptop computers will support the job-searching and educational endeavors of library users and will assist in closing the digital divide in the Region’s rural counties.
Stanly Community College
Stanly CC Library Adapts!:$23,971.00
A high poverty rate coupled with a high percentage of homes without internet in Stanly County means that internet is difficult to monetarily prioritize for many families, especially due to the staggeringly high unemployment rate in the county. By providing Wi-Fi hotspots to students in need, the Library stands the chance of helping to close the broadband divide for students and alleviate monetary burdens for the community, even if it is for a short while.
Stanly Community College
Stanly CC Digi-Equity Project!:$54,000.00
By providing digital literacy instruction and technology support to Early College and CCP students in need via a Digital Inclusion Librarian, the Library stands the chance of helping to close the digital equity divide for students by creating autonomous researchers and increase course completion rates for this large demographic of high school students taking college classes.
UNC Charlotte Mobile Hotspots:$24,910.00
In an effort to alleviate internet connectivity barriers for students, faculty, and staff enrolled in and/or working at UNC Charlotte, grant funds are requested to purchase mobile hotspot devices that J. Murrey Atkins Library can loan to students and university employees. This pool of hotspots will help to level the playing field for many students, particularly for those for whom internet connectivity is a barrier by providing technology/internet access.
UNC School of the Arts
Connecting with our Community:$24,888.00
Connecting to our Community will serve to digitally include members of the immediate campus community who continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will allow us to further the service mission as a library that serves the citizens of the state of NC and our local Winston-Salem community. The project will expand an already open wireless (Wi-Fi) campus network to two exterior plazas that adjoin the library, making student and guest networks available inside and outside of the building. During the pandemic, the campus was able to make use of outside spaces for meetings, classes, and study. The public came to these spaces for access to Wi-Fi that would be safe in the open air. Ensuring broadband access in well-ventilated outside spaces will help to ensure safety for the campus and local community members while providing much-needed access to a more digitally-driven and connected life.
Wake Technical Community College
Advancing Digital Equity:$25,000.00
In response to users’ increasing needs arising from Covid-19, this project aims to further support digital inclusion efforts and provide access to digitized content and online library resources for distance learners and remote users, particularly low-income and underrepresented students, that meet educational needs and offer the broadest opportunity for student success and growth, Wake Technical Community College Library Services (WTLS) is seeking funds to procure two new imaging overhead scanners. With the advanced scanning capabilities, WTLS will launch a new and improved digitization and scanning services program to serve the diverse needs of distance learners and remote users, and support online instruction efforts through content creation, access to free Open Educational Resources content, self-service and on-demand document delivery models, touchless interactions, and a reduced need for physical, on-campus library visitation.
Wayne County Public Library
YouTech Learning Lab Project:$100,000.00
In order to support digital inclusion efforts, education, and workforce development needs, this project seeks to establish a Technology Learning Lab for middle schoolers in the Goldsboro area. The project’s goal is to provide middle schoolers an immersive learning experience whereby students gain technology skills and concepts that will lead them toward careers in STEM related fields, including introducing students to Artificial Intelligence (AI). This project will provide middle school students who are traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields access to digital content and related resources.
Wayne County Public Library
Wayne County Public Library Mobile Resource Expansion:$25,000.00
This project, a digital equity initiative, will bolster the library’s Mobile Resource Library project by allowing for the adoption and embedment of digital navigator services. The Digital Navigator will work to address the whole digital inclusion process- home connectivity, access to digital devices, and digital skills instruction. The project’s goal is to increase technology and digital access in the rural areas of Wayne County as well as increase participants’ ability to access library materials and other essential services remotely.
Wilson County Public Library
Digital Literacy For Homebound:$12,069.00
Wilson County Public Library will improve digital literacy by providing library materials, the internet, and virtual programming to homebound seniors via wireless tablets. Population and technology trends indicate increasing need for digital collection access to maintain accessibility for patrons with disabilities who are accustomed to traditional hardcopy materials. Additionally, research has shown that participation in virtual programming can lead to decreased feelings of isolation for disabled seniors. Low income and lack of access to relevant technological devices and internet services impacts the availability of these resources to some homebound seniors. With the acquisition of wireless-enabled tablets, the Wilson County Public Library can provide opportunities for homebound seniors to widen collection access, increase availability of programming, and gain comfort with technology to improve their quality of life.
SLNC Adapts LSTA grant awards are made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-250229-OLS-21). LSTA grants are awarded in response to specific needs of public, academic and community college libraries. These federal funds are investments that help libraries deliver relevant and up-to-date services to their communities.