The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District recently received a $20,000 grant from American Library Association (ALA) COVID Relief Fund that will help extend the reach of the Library District’s Cell Phone Lending Program. This program was initially funded by a $200,000 grant form the Institute of Museum & Library Services and the Nevada State Library. Partnership with Nevada Homeless Alliance and Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, the program has provided over 380 smartphones to qualifying low-income residents and those who are experiencing homelessness.
Each phone comes pre-loaded with Library District apps that provide educational resources and critical social and community services. The new $20,000 ALA funds will allow the Library District to provide phones for an additional 35 residents.
Since its launch in April, the program has been seeing success stories. Several cell phone borrowers have reported that they were able to secure housing because they now have a phone number that housing agencies could call to notify them that their applications were approved.
"It is an honor to help underwrite the gap-bridging efforts proposed by the ALA COVID library Relief Fund recipients," said Tracie Hall, ALA Executive Director. "This fund is part of our ongoing association-wide effort to support libraries during these still uncertain times. Understanding the fundamental role that libraries play in the health and welfare of their communities, ALA is committed to raising additional funds to sustain the educational persistence, workforce reskilling, and community recovery activity that is being funded through these grants."
The $20,000 ALA grant is the most recent funding awarded to the Library District and Library District Foundation, part of a total of more than $2.5 million received from all public and private sources in Fiscal Year 2022 to support the Library District's programming.