Gazebo Gazette

The Institute of Museum and Library Services has announced $13,800,000 in IMLS CARES Act Grants to support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

The funded projects were selected from 1,701 applications.

The Harrison County Library System received $276,107 to fund its Libraries Unbound Mobile Outreach Project.

Library Director, Sarah Crisler-Ruskey stated, “Capital grants for libraries are rare, so we are elated to receive this funding. Not only will our Libraries Unbound Mobile Outreach Project allow us to better serve the community in the event of future pandemic or natural disaster challenges, it will also allow us to connect more people in the community with the benefits of library services on a regular basis.”

The Harrison County Library System will launch a dual approach to respond rapidly to patron needs in a pandemic and provide ongoing connectivity to its users.

The library will partner with Coast Transit Authority to supply hotspot access to several county bus routes and a digital material hotspot at the main transit hub.

The library will also purchase a mobile outreach vehicle to provide devices, internet access, and library materials where and when needed.

Current service figures show over 800,000 trips on CTA routes, giving the library an opportunity to reach thousands of patrons with transportation challenges and time constraints that prevent them from accessing current library services.

CTA Executive Director, Kevin Coggin added, “CTA looks forward to partnering with HCLS on this project that will enhance services for our riders and improve the quality of life in our communities.”

This IMLS grant opportunity will support 68 museum and library services projects that will take place over the next two years, supporting communities across the nation.

The Harrison County Library System is the community’s network for lifelong learning.