PHOENIX – The Arizona State Library, a division of the Secretary of State, has set aside more than $600,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide a variety of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math supplies to public libraries around the state. Administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the purpose of ARPA funding for libraries is to help “communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic, as well as to related economic and community needs.”
Public libraries requested STEAM supplies such as robot-building kits, 3D pens, microscopes and telescopes, scanners, charging stations and other materials to support informal learning for children and workforce development for older community members. Delivery of these exciting tools will begin this month.
“Throughout the pandemic, a number of in-person programs had to be suspended for health safety reasons. These new tools will be welcome additions as customers return in person to libraries for programming and for use of available resources,” said Holly Henley, the state librarian and director of library services for the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records.
“This additional use of ARPA funding to support libraries in providing informal STEAM learning opportunities and workforce development will continue to help with recovery from the pandemic,” said Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
In April 2021, the Arizona State Library was awarded $3.6 million in ARPA funding. In addition to this STEAM project, the State Library purchased statewide databases and provided $1.3 million in allotments to libraries in all 15 counties. The State Library also plans to provide eBooks and other resources and services for libraries throughout Arizona.
For more information visit www.azlibrary.gov or call 602-542-6200.
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