The massive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) — also known as the stimulus funds — will bring hundreds of million dollars to Minnesota. How do libraries stand to benefit? There are numerous places in this act that include libraries but whether or not libraries will be included depends on our ability to dig in and do the work required. We have to be at the table when proposals are made and when policy discussions are taking place.
One of the best places to start is the ALA overview of ARRA and Libraries found at http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/wo/woissues/washfunding/fedfund/arra101.cfm . Another place is to look at our state’s plan to handle the funds which is found in the office of Management and Budget. http://www.mmb.state.mn.us/recovery and to get details on the actual funds coming to Minnesota and how allocated go to: http://www.mmb.state.mn.us/doc/citizen/summary.pdf.
There is a lot of money. How it will be used is detailed and complicated. If it is to be used for libraries, it will be necessary for us to pay attention at all levels, to work with others, and to share our plans.