The Mississippi County Library System (MCLS), Osceola Branch, has been selected as one of 20 U.S. libraries for a national grant! The Community Connect: Digital Access at Home grant, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and Capital One, offers cash grants to help rural libraries offer internet access and financial education for their customers.
As the past year has shown, people across the country are increasingly reliant on the internet for essential services like education and tele-medicine, but rural areas often lack the internet access found in more populated regions. In Mississippi County, only about 60 percent of households have reliable internet access. Hotspots provide satellite access to areas that do not yet have wired coverage.
“We are so proud to be selected from a pool of more than 170 applicants to bring Community Connect to the Mississippi County Library System,” said Library Technology Specialist Randy Newman. “We encourage people to check out a WiFi hotspot and enjoy the internet at home! We are also excited to offer Ready, Set, Bank and Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) resources on online banking, saving, credit, and money management to our community during a time when it is much needed.”
Community Connect will begin at the Osceola Library in December 2020. Five Verizon WiFi hotspots will be available for check-out to customers aged 18+ with current library cards that are in good standing. Hotspots may be checked out for the period of one week (7 days) and are limited to one per household. The Hotspot must be returned on or before the due date to avoid overdue fines. Hotspots can be renewed for an additional week if no other holds or requests are pending.
The Mississippi County Library System will also receive a $2,000 cash grant to support financial literacy programming. Throughout 2021, MCLS will partner with local experts to present a series of workshops for adults. The Ready, Set, Bank programming will focus on the benefits of online banking, safety and security, and money management. Participants will receive a financial empowerment toolkit and booklets that explore credit, bill and debt management, and building savings. Look for announcements and more information about this programming on our website and social media pages early next year.
MCLS would like to thank the sponsors of this grant, the American Library Association and Capital One:
About Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. Its subsidiaries, Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize that helping to build strong and healthy communities — good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families — benefits us all, and we are proud to support this and other community initiatives. For more information, visit capitalone.com/about
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.
The Mississippi County Library System’s tagline is “Enrich Your Life.” We are working hard to enrich life in our community through offering new and essential programming. If you have an idea for a service or resource we could provide, let us know! As always, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime with questions or suggestions.