Montana State Library
American Recovery and Rescue Plan - E-Bulletin
Welcome to State Library ARPA E-Bulletin
Welcome to the second edition of the Montana State Library ARPA E-Bulletin.  The State Library has contracted with the Montana Cooperative Development Center (MCDC) and the consulting firm of Applied Communications to provide outreach and technical assistance to local libraries regarding information about funding opportunities.   Over the next year, we will be sending out regular e-bulletins to provide updates on grants, training, and other opportunities to communicate about ARPA funds. For general information on the State of Montana American Rescue Plan Act 2021, including Information about legislation, programs, FAQs, and ARPA Commission meetings, visit the state web page:  

Montana State Library Initiates ARPA Internal Wiring Program
The State Library has received approximately $640,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to upgrade the networking and cabling equipment in a select set of public libraries in Montana.  The State Library estimates these APRA dollars will fund internal network upgrades in approximately 25-30 local libraries. Funds will cover expenses for local area networks including internal cabling, equipment, and installation. Upgrades to the internal network for libraries will allow these facilities to subscribe for higher broadband speeds for their networks.
Priority will be given to libraries that will commit to increasing their Internet speeds. The state is recommending that libraries meet the minimum national standard of 100 Mbps. Although the funding will not cover the costs for monthly broadband services, the State Library encourages libraries to apply for federal E-Rate dollars which can offset a significant amount of this expense. The State Library is exploring options to help libraries apply for E-Rate to lower broadband rates.
 The size of the library, geographic location, Internet usage, and revenue are other considerations the State Library will use to evaluate applications.    To find out how to apply and for more information visit the web site at:

Although priority for the initial round of upgrades will be given to libraries with lower income per capita and/or higher Internet usage, the State Library is seeking additional funding through the U.S. Treasury Department Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF) program.  This program includes funding for improvements to library facilities that offer public-access internet or digital literacy programs.  Look for more information in future newsletters or at the following website.

Funding Deadline Extended
 Community Facility, Public Facility, and Housing Grant 

Based on public input, the Montana Department of Commerce has decided to extend the deadline for the CDBG Community Facility, Public Facility, and Housing grant applications deadline from September 15, 2021, at 5:00 pm to October 28, 2021, at 5:00 pm. This allows additional time for communities to identify and prioritize their needs and complete applications.

The CDBG Community Facility, Public Facility, and Housing grant applications and further information on the program can be found at:

Successful Grants Rely on Strategic Planning 
With new funding sources coming online, it may be time to review your strategic plan.  The Montana State Library has resources to help. State library consultants can offer facilitation help to public libraries going through a strategic planning process.  Future e-bulletins and webinars will have more information on strategic planning and how coordinating with community planning efforts can be a strategy for accessing more grant funds.   For assistance with updating or developing a strategic plan for your library:

“An organization with a strong blueprint …is always more appealing to grantmakers.”

Other Grant Resources
In addition to the ARPA websites, the links below provide information about other grant programs.

For more ARPA Information
Montana Web site:                 Montana ARPA Hot Line: 1-844-406-2772

Check future e-bulletins for answers to more questions!   For additional information on this outreach program please contact:
Tracy Cook
Montana State Library
Kate McMahon
Applied Communications