|New York State Library|
The New York State Library is participating in a Bill & Melinda Gates Library Foundation program entitled the Opportunity Online Hardware Grant Program. The State Library is working in partnership with PULISDO to implement this program. This program will provide 2,145 computers for a maximum of 421 New York State public libraries, for a value of approximately $6.1 million.
421 Libraries Throughout NY to Get $4.1 Million in Grants from Gates Foundation [video]
The Opportunity Online Hardware Grant Program is designed to help public libraries upgrade hardware and learn how to sustain these upgrades over time. The program focuses on libraries that serve high need communities that are struggling to keep pace with technology changes. The program also seeks to motivate local governments to commit long-term local funding to computer services in public libraries.
The two-year grant program will fund public computer workstations, and associated training and tech support. It requires dedicated local funding through a monitored and enforced escalating matching requirement (25% for the first year and 50% for year two).
The Gates Foundation determined eligibility for each participating library. Libraries must meet two criteria to receive funding.
Economic Need: Eligible public libraries serve communities where 10% of the total population or more than 3,000 people in each library service area live in poverty. Each public library was designated as either rural, urban, or suburban, which defined their service area radius.
Hardware Need: Eligible public libraries demonstrated that their computer and internet services are vulnerable to becoming obsolete. Libraries ran a TechAtlas computer inventory report to assess their hardware vulnerability.
TechAtlas inventory deadline: December 1, 2008
Inventory Instructions (.PDF)
Inventory Webinar Schedule
Public libraries that are recipients of the “Opportunity Online” hardware grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are urged to contact their local media. A sample press release from the State Education Department can be accessed and downloaded for local library use. Libraries can fill in the appropriate areas with information about their individual grants and distribute the release locally. Additional Sample Media Materials are also available.