(From a St. Charles City-County Library District press release)
The St. Charles City-County Library has been awarded a $120,0000 grant from the state’s CARES Act to help residents access high speed internet for telehealth, distance learning, and more. These funds will be used to increase internet bandwidth at library branches, offer more WiFi access points, and provide lending kits containing Chromebooks and mobile hotspots to customers.
In response to COVID-19, there has been a massive shift to online services, but many in St. Charles County are not equipped with internet and technology at home. This grant, awarded through the Rapid Broadband Deployment Initiative, will help the Library provide tools and increased internet availability to connect the public with the health and education services that they need. 58 kits containing Chromebooks and mobile hotspots will be made available to the public, with half of these kits offered to local organizations that serve customers with limited access to telehealth services. The Library will also expand its WiFi security and strength in order to accommodate increased internet use in Library parking lots and surrounding areas.
The “Coronavirus Relief Funds Broadband Funding for Distance Learning and Telehealth in Libraries” Grant was awarded to 39 Missouri public libraries for providing resources that support virtual healthcare and higher education. Library Director Jason Kuhl says, “We are honored to be one of the recipients of these funds, which will allow us to expand the scope of our services. The technology we provide helps individuals and families in our community to access better healthcare and fully participate in virtual education. These are two of the most important reasons for offering connectivity to as many people as we can.” The Library offers free internet and WiFi hotspots, public computer access, and assistance with virtual coursework and health resources. Visit myLibrary.org or stop by any Library branch for more information about available services.