The Burlington County Library System Foundation is doing its part to make a difference! The Foundation is contributing $6,000 to a newly-funded library hotspot and device lending program that will provide technology access to Burlington County’s disadvantaged population. The generous contribution, announced recently by the Foundation, will help expand the soon-to-be-launched program designed to benefit those hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Library officials learned that their application for funding to support the lending program was successful last month when BCLS was awarded a $45,103 grant. The library’s application was one of only 68 – out of more than 1,700 submitted this year – selected to share $13.8 million in FY2020 CARES Act Grants for Museum and Libraries funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The award will enable BCLS to partner with other county agencies and local nonprofit organizations to bring internet connectivity and technology access to those residents who need it the most at this challenging time.
According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 21,000 households in Burlington County do not have internet access and more than 13,000 households do not have computers. The grant funding, coupled with the BCLS Foundation contribution, will be used to purchase library tablets and accessories to lend, as well as a one-year service plan for hotspots.
A registered 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization, the BCLS Foundation has been a staunch supporter of the library system since it was founded by a group of dedicated volunteers in 2015. Since that time, it has grown to embrace its mission to raise funds, seek grants and promote BCLS through advocacy. For the past three years, the Foundation’s signature fundraising event has been its annual holiday concert featuring the fabulous Philly POPS. And in 2019, it secured a $7,500 grant from the Literacy Access Fund to purchase a new AWE Platinum computer as well as a suite of coding robots that offer hands-on digital literacy learning programs. Other Foundation initiatives have included funding STEM-based classroom kits for teachers, adding new books to the 1KBBK collection, and securing grants to purchase Early Learning Computers at two BCLS member libraries. To learn more about this worthwhile organization, or to make a donation, please visit bclsf.org.