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Wed, 19 Jan 2022 16:45:46 +0000
"McKenney, Janet" <[log in to unmask]>
Maine Libraries Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
"McKenney, Janet" <[log in to unmask]>
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Statewide Meeting Recap and New information

Lots of changes since we met January 11.  I have tried to capture them all.

Recap of the Statewide Zoom - January 11, 2022

The recording is available on the MSL Coronavirus webpage<>, in the archive.
Direct link to the meeting recording<> for your convenience.

Our next Statewide Zoom will be on February 8, 2022

Time: February 8, 2022 @ 3:15 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 868 3492 8350

Discussion topics

We reviewed the ARPA deadlines for spending and reporting

Deadline changes:

Spend all ARPA funds by March 15, 2022.

Submit final report at the very latest - June 15, 2022

Tips on submitting.

Put a zero in all categories where you did not spend money.

If you have changed categories, just make those changes in the report.

Please save your receipts and records until January 2026.

To submit report:

Go to:

Enter in the email and password you used for the ARPA application.  Remember that we are also using this grant platform for the MPLF grants - so if you have applied for MPLF you need to read/look closely to make sure you are selecting ARPA - not MPLF.

Once logged in you should see a blue edit button on the far right next to your library's name.

Instructions<> and report sample<> are posted on the website<>.

COVID Updates

Libraries in the meeting expressed great interest in masks and tests. As you may know from the news, the Biden administration is stepping up federal programs. Every time I think I know the best way forward another federal program pops up.

Masks - The Biden administration will make 400 million N95 masks available to the public for free via "a number of local pharmacies and community health centers". The program will begin next week and be "Fully up and running by early February".

  *   Federal COVID Tests website: - Order form is at USPS:
  *   Mask program announcement -

I have already begun steps to obtain prices for purchasing masks and COVID tests but do have to go through the Maine State procurement process. They have contracts in place for N95s - which are certified for medical use. They are different as far as fit. Read more on masks and the differences between KN95 and N95 masks at so we can have a conversation soon about what masks may be preferred by the library workforce.

At this time, I'd like to ask, and have libraries promote these programs to staff (and library patrons) and encourage everyone to order tests and masks through the new government programs.  I will have to write up a case to procure and use ARPA funds - so MSL will have to explain the need in addition to these federal programs.

I will keep everyone up to date on the positivity rate, hospitalizations, etc. Wednesday, January 19 the positivity rates for PCR is 21.2%. Testing is at 877/100K.  Hospitalizations, ICU and vents still high but slight trend downward.

Museum Program wants to partner with Libraries

Kate Webber provided info and answered questions about the Maine State Museum's Listening Tour.

Maine State Museum is looking for library partners for virtual "Listening Tour" events:

Library Partner Request - Listening Tour

Bendable Update

We are currently discussing the role of Bendable Maine Hubs with MSL, Bangor, Lewiston, and Portland. We also want to have smaller regional hubs. I have heard from some of you but please email me if you are interested. I will be scheduling an information session for those libraries that are interested in being a hub in the next 2 weeks.  Read through the Bendable Maine Hub Library Guide<> for more information.

Bendable Fellows links:

Link to slides about Power Hours and Library Partners<> and the Design Research Poster<> for your library.

MSL is building the Bendable Maine<> Information page up soon with resources.  Please be patient while we organize and add information over the next week or so. We are printing postcards for distribution to libraries to help with Bendable Maine promotion. Expect those to arrive in early February.

In February, MSL will begin convening libraries and MSL staff for input in reviewing MSL federal state goals and diving into our existing projects and activities.

New addition to the discussion topics

Digital Equity Act and Treasury Construction Funds.

Jamie, Marijke and I had a first meeting with the head of the newly created Maine Connectivity Authority.  This organization will be applying for and disbursing funds from the Digital Equity Act (this is part of the just passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) as well as the Treasury grants from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund<> for library construction projects under certain guidelines.

MSL will be having additional meetings and has offered to contribute to and be a part of the working group to develop the state plan for both these funds. Bendable is a strong selling point due to the content possibilities for digital literacy training equitably offered through public libraries. More to come on this at our next Statewide Zoom meeting in February. There is an article, What Libraries Need to Know about the Digital Equity Act<> in American Libraries (Dec. 28, 2021) that does a good overview of the process and possibilities for libraries in the Digital Equity Act.

Contact the National Digital Equity Center<> about becoming a partner and provide training in your library using library volunteers.

Stay well all.


Janet McKenney
Director, Library Development
Maine State Library
SHS 64
230 State Street
Augusta, ME 04333

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@janetmckenney (Twitter)