In March 2020 the BC Libraries Branch announced a one-time funding injection for public libraries, a portion of which has been directed to the Co-op for sector-wide work. Of this, some was earmarked to continue the work the Co-op has historically performed “to work with libraries on improving connectivity and bandwidth options locally and regionally, to support the delivery of digital initiatives.”
Today, Tuesday July 14, 2020, the Co-op announces the opening of the first of two intakes of two separate funds designed to help libraries improve their Internet connectivity.
The first is the “Strategic Network Hardware Fund” which will fund up to $1500 per library for connectivity-related hardware purchases. The first intake will assist approximately 16 libraries and will stay open until fully subscribed, however initial adjudication will commence August 4, 2020 and the fund is expected to be fully subscribed.
The second is the “Connectivity Top-Up Fund” which will provide up to $1200/year per library to supplement a library’s internet connectivity fees and is intended to support the most poorly connected libraries in the province. The first intake will assist approximately 10 libraries and will stay open until fully subscribed, however as with the above, initial adjudication will commence August 4, 2020 and the fund is expected to be fully subscribed.
In both cases there will be a second intake later in fiscal 2020/21 for the other 50% of these funds. This will allow libraries who wish to consult with the Connectivity Consultant the chance for feedback that may inform their purchases or connectivity strategies.
Any questions regarding these funds or more generally around the Co-op’s role in supporting public library connectivity should be directed to the Co-op’s Systems Manager, Scott Leslie, at firstname.lastname@example.org