The State Library of Iowa is pleased to announce that the public libraries in Emmetsburg and Burt, along with the Iowa Lakes Community College Emmetsburg Campus Library, have received Library Technology Grant Awards in the amount of $1,500 to each library for a collaborative project that will use tiny, inexpensive computers called Raspberry Pis to teach fundamentals of computer science to young people.
The State Library of Iowa awarded 63 technology grants to 97 Iowa libraries from funds allocated by the Iowa Legislature during the 2013 session. One hundred ninety-four grant applications were submitted representing 255 libraries. Grant awards range from $804.98 for a single library with a single project to $13,499 to a group of nine libraries in one county. The projects must be completed by June 30, 2014.
“All the winning applications made a strong case for how the use of technology would improve the lives of Iowa citizens,” said Marie Harms, State Library Consultant and grant coordinator.
The awards are evenly distributed throughout the state and awarded to all sizes of public libraries and a few academic libraries.
“The applications proved that there is a great need to add, upgrade and replace all sorts of computers and other equipment in the libraries. By using roughly half of the funds allocated to the State Library, the impact on the equipment, programs and services offered by Iowa libraries will be profound,” commented Harms.
In partnering to provide technology-related programming, the three local libraries are taking the lead in two trending concepts: STEM initiatives and makerspaces in libraries. STEM initiatives focus on boosting education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Makerspaces are places where amateurs can come to share resources and knowledge to build and make things. They are appearing more and more in libraries.
Watch for future announcements about how you or your child can get involved in this exciting learning opportunity.