Shawnee Tribe Cultural Center Awarded CARES Act Grant to Respond to COVID-19
July 10, 2020
Marnie Leist, Director
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) has awarded a $1,000 PPE grant to the Shawnee Tribe Cultural Center to help the center purchase personal protective equipment and supplies to keep staff and visitors safer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
STCC is one of 64 institutions to receive a grant from ODL courtesy of the federal CARES Act and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). A total of $60,000 was distributed by ODL to address the coronavirus concerns of public libraries, tribal libraries, tribal cultural centers, museums, and historic sites in the state.
STCC Director Leist says, “The funding will be used to provide masks, hand sanitizer, sneeze guards, and cleaning supplies. It’s very important that we follow CDC guidelines as we open up services to the public. This grant will provide supplies we need to help reduce risk of exposure for our employees and visitors.”
She continues, “While the center is currently closed, we are continuing to expand our website content and planning for potential virtual programs. We have applied for two additional grants to help us develop new ways of serving our stakeholders.”
In developing the grant, ODL Director Melody Kellogg said institutions were surveyed about any hurdles they might face in returning to service during the pandemic.
The top concerns of libraries, museums, and other cultural institutions were a shortage of cleaning supplies and PPE equipment, fear on the part of staff and the public, and the challenge of enforcing social distancing and other best-health practices in their facilities.
“We developed the grant proposal to help address these concerns,” Kellogg said. “We were very fortunate in that we were able to provide some funding to all 64 of the eligible institutions that applied.”
The PPE grant is the first of two that will be available from ODL, with funding from IMLS and the CARES Act. The grants were designed to help the state’s important cultural institutions address two impacts of COVID-19: public health concerns, and the need to breach the digital divide and improve digital inclusion to better serve the public.
“The pandemic has thrown a spotlight on the digital divide in our state and nation,” Kellogg said. “At a time when, for safety reasons, we are depending more than ever on electronic communication, far too many of our fellow citizens don’t have the tools or access needed to take advantage of important services.”
Recipients of the Digital Inclusion Grants, totaling $291,320, will be announced later in July.
A complete list of Oklahoma’s 64 PPE Grant recipients is at: news.oklibshare.org/federal-funding/odl-awards-cares-act-ppe-grants-to-64-institutions.