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American Rescue Plan (ARP) Funds for Library Recovery

Under the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has allocated $4,785,292 in emergency funding to Pennsylvania's Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL), a state library administrative agency, to support the long-term work of community and library recovery.

To achieve the purpose of the ARP Act, ARP IMLS funding is to be used by September 30, 2022 to help communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic, as well as to related economic and community needs through equitable approaches.

IMLS has established the high-priority spending categories as follows: 

  1. Enable libraries to reach residents with internet hotspots, accessible Wi-Fi, and other digital inclusion efforts, 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. Provide rapid emergency relief to libraries across the country, allowing them to safely respond to the pandemic and implement public health protocols.
  3. Support library services that meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S., including costs such as technology, training, materials, supplies, equipment, and associated indirect costs.

Library systems, local libraries, district library centers, and statewide resource centers that received state aid in the 2020-21 state budget are eligible to receive an ARP IMLS allocation. Eligible entities will apply for funding through the OCL.

Additional information and resources will be added to this page as it becomes available.