Addressing Digital Divide: Over $300K available to North Country libraries

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — New funding resources have been made available to help address the digital divide in the state.

Over $6.2 million in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan are now available to assist New York State libraries and cultural institutions break the digital divide. This funding opportunity was announced by the New York State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa on Wednesday.

“These funds will support collaborative efforts to find real and sustainable solutions to address the digital divide in New York State,” Commissioner Rosa said. “This significant investment represents meaningful progress in achieving our vision of digital equity and inclusion for our students and their families.”

According to Rosa, $5.5 million of this funding will be allocated through the State Library to the nine regional Reference and Research Library Resources Council. Rosa stated that the funding will implement three priority programs in their regions. This will include advancing digital inclusion, encouraging library/museum partnerships, and expanding student access to digital resources.

The Northern New York region will received over $300,000 of the total funding. A full break-down of the total ARPA local assistance allocations is listed below:

Regional Library CouncilDigital inclusion projectsLibrary and museum partnership projectsSLS Digital Resources projectsTotal ARPA allocations
Capital District$325,975$55,248$45,311$426,534
Central New York$282,207$41,794$56,113$380,115
Long Island $484,213$140,973$50,377$675,563
Metro$1,328,021$454,051$149,958$1,932,030
Northern New York$237,092$27,393$37,133$301,618
Rochester$315,491$52,430$51,483$419,404
South Central$307,653$47,727$58,636$414,016
South Eastern$342,487$72,358$47,547$462,392
Western New York$376,861$72,340$53,441$502,642
Total$4,000,000$964,315$550,000$5,514,315

Regional library councils will collaborate with public library systems, school library systems and other libraries, museums and cultural repositories.

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