J. Murrey Atkins Library has been awarded a $24,910 grant to purchase mobile hotspot devices to loan to students. 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.
The State Library of North Carolina (SLNC) recently announced the SLNC Adapts Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant awardees. The 45 awards, totaling nearly $1.6 million in federal funding, 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. At Atkins Library the SLNC Adapts LSTA grant will be used to purchase 94 Verizon mobile hotspot devices that J. Murrey Atkins Library can loan to students and university employees, and pay for the Verizon monthly service costs for 11 months.
“This program especially benefits UNC Charlotte students who cannot afford to cover internet service costs on their own, do not have broadband internet access in their homes due to where they are geographically located in the state, or require additional options due to internet traffic congestion either in the home or neighborhood driving down connectivity speeds,” said Dr. Anne Cooper Moore, dean of Atkins Library. “For these individuals, the obstacles to academic success may be monumental. The mobile hotspots solution will help to fulfill an unmet need for our students by providing equity of opportunity by alleviating internet connectivity barriers.”
This is the second LSTA grant that Atkins Library has received for mobile hotspot lending. Earlier this summer, in partnership with seven state university libraries, Atkins was awarded a $49,414 grant to create an interinstitutional mobile hotspot lending program to enable partner libraries to procure a pool of 180 Verizon mobile hotspot devices to students, faculty, and staff who are dispersed throughout the state of North Carolina and have unreliable Internet.
This grant is 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 Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-250229-OLS-21).
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. Through the LSTA Grants to States program, IMLS provides funds to State Library agencies using a population-based formula. State libraries may use the appropriation to support statewide initiatives and services; they may also distribute the funds through competitive subgrants to public and academic libraries. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.