Wayne County Public Library has received a $75,000 LSTA Project Grant from the State Library of North Carolina. The library, in partnership with Open Broadband, WAGES, and Wayne County Public Schools, will use these grant funds to launch a digital inclusion initiative in the Dudley community. Assistant Director, Maegen Wilson, says “To our knowledge, this project is one of the first of its kind in North Carolina. The library is pleased to have the opportunity to enhance our services in the Dudley community.”
This project will use a three-pronged approach: access, devices, and technical support services, to help provide an equity in digital resources for the Dudley community. As part of this project, a free high-speed public WiFi access point will be made available outside of the Steve and Susan Parr Family Learning Center. Funding will also be used to loan Chromebooks to families of children enrolled at the learning center, along with siblings who are enrolled in the public school system. Finally, library staff will provide comprehensive technology training to families in the Dudley community.
Library Director, Donna Phillips added “for many years the library has worked with community agencies to both bridge the digital divide and to increase school readiness and improve grade level reading. We see this project as an opportunity to deepen our impact in these areas. Not only will the Dudley community get access to affordable high-speed internet, but library staff will work with parents to build their digital literacy skills and to assist them in fostering relationships with their child’s school.”
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-246155-OLS-20).
For more information about Wayne County Public Library, please visit wcpl.org.