(Bland County, Virginia) – Bland County Public Library is one of 20 public libraries across the United States selected by the American Library Association (ALA) and Capital One to participate in their Community Connect: Digital Access at Home grant program. According to the ALA press release, “Community Connect seeks to expand the service capacity of rural libraries by offering hotspot lending policies and financial capability seminars; improve the digital access of rural library patrons via hotspots and enhance opportunities for social mobility by pursuing remote education, economic inclusion, financial management and health; and demonstrate the efficacy of the pilot program and use results to build consensus on how to address sustainable digital inclusion for rural communities.”
“This announcement is wonderful news for Bland County and its citizens,” stated Adam Kidd, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “The county staff does a fantastic job seeking out opportunities to expand services to the public and thinking outside the box in terms of how they can better serve the public. We are very proud of our public library and excited our library was selected to participate in this program to expand internet hotspot capacities.” The Bland County Public Library will be provided with mobile Wi-Fi hotspot equipment as part of the grant that patrons will be able to check out.
“We are so pleased to be awarded this grant from the American Library Association,” stated Cameron Burton, Director of Library and Community Services for Bland County. “This program will benefit our community in ways that traditional library services cannot. With distance learning and remote working environments becoming the new normal, these Wi-Fi hotspots can alleviate the burden of our community who struggle with reliable internet access at home. I cannot thank the library and county staff enough for their support of our mission. We hope that hot spot lending will become as routine as checking out a library book.”
“This is a great announcement and a testament of the determination and commitment staff has to identifying challenges and securing opportunities to address various needs in the community,” stated Laura Radford, chair of the Bland County Library Board of Trustees. “The Bland County Public Library is moving beyond the traditional role of library operations to provide programs and services that address 21st century needs that is more engaging to the community.”The Bland County Public Library offers of a variety of programs and hosts multiple events throughout the year. Additional information about the library can be obtained from its website at: http://www.youseemore.com/bcpl/default.asp.