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Federal Government Invests $50M in Museums, Libraries to Address Digital Divide During COVID-19

March 27, 2020

Federal Government Invests $50M in Museums, Libraries to Address Digital Divide During COVID-19
CARES Act Designates Funds to Expand Local Internet and Technology Access

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced that the President has signed the CARES Act, which designates $50 million in coronavirus response funding for IMLS. Following passage in the House of Representatives earlier today, both chambers of Congress approved of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion response to the growing pandemic.

The emergency investment allocated to IMLS will enable libraries and museums to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including by expanding digital network access, purchasing Internet accessible devices, and providing technical support services to their communities.

“As Americans are sheltering in place, working from home, and isolating themselves from all but their closest family, the digital divide only deepens,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “The need for access to information about the virus, government actions, and community safety messages in addition to telemedicine, job, and unemployment resources is crucial. This funding sustains our most trusted institutions as they provide vitally important information and useful tools to our citizens. IMLS is committed to channeling this much needed grant-based funding as quickly as possible to help the impacted library and museum sectors as they continue to support their communities.”

Summaries of the legislation can be found here and here. For more information, please visit imls.gov and subscribe to email news updates.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.