American Rescue Plan 2021

Please note that this page is a work in progress. Check back frequently for updates.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) designates $200 million in pandemic response funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) Grants to States program. VTLIB has received $2,135,819 in ARPA funding.

IMLS ARPA Funding Priorities

From the IMLS Announcement: To achieve the American Rescue Plan Act’s purposes with respect to Grants to States, this funding is to be used by September 30, 2022, in helping communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic, as well as to related economic and community needs through equitable approaches. Spending priorities are similar to last year’s CARES Act funding and are as follows:  

  1. First, to support digital inclusion efforts to enable libraries to reach residents through internet hotspots, accessible Wi-Fi, and digital content and related resources, particularly in support of education, health, and workforce development needs. The following types of data, among others, can inform efforts to reach underserved populations:
    • Poverty/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)   
    • Unemployment   
    • Broadband availability;   
  2. Second, to provide rapid emergency relief to libraries across the country, allowing them to safely respond to the pandemic and implement public health protocols;  
  3. Third, to support library services that meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S., including costs such as personnel, technology, training, materials, supplies, equipment, and associated indirect costs; and  
  4. With respect to (a), (b), or (c), reach tribal and museum partners best positioned to assist with pandemic response efforts, in addition to traditionally eligible library entities, where appropriate.  

ARPA funds may not fund construction, operational costs, bonuses, raises, or subscriptions.

Planned Allocation of Funds

The Vermont Department of Libraries will use a part of the ARPA funds to provide grants to VT public libraries, museum partnerships, and statewide library consortia. The remainder of the funds will be used to enhance existing statewide services. Four percent will go to VTLIB to cover administrative and project management costs. The disbursement will happen in stages to meet staff capacity and state fiscal processes. The first grants will be issued to public libraries.

1. Grants to Public Libraries for Equipment and Supply Purchases

We will make up to $980,587.07 in grant funding available to public libraries to make one-time purchases (pending IMLS approval*). This list reflects the results of the needs assessment survey we launched at the end of March. Please visit the Grants to Public Libraries for Equiment and Supply Purchases page for more information.

2. Future Disbursements*

We are working on the logistics for these and will inform the library community of the availability of these as soon as possible.

Grants to Statewide Organizations

  • Statewide consortia

  • Library/museum collaboration grants

Statewide Program Allocations

  • Support for courier system: purchase of bags, augmentation of existing courier grants for libraries with multiple stops

  • ABLE Library Collections and Hearing Impaired devices for lending

  • Streaming movie license cont. for schools for one more year—this is a program we continued to support schools through the end of the pandemic.

*Subject to change

Resources for Grant Applicants

Note that these links below are for librarians to understand what is being agreed to in the grant application and the associated certifications and assurances: