Connecting Communities LogoThe Connecting Communities Digital Inclusion Program provides Chromebooks and accessories to public libraries throughout Idaho for the purpose of expanding digital inclusion, equity, and literacy efforts. Participating libraries will create or expand existing partnerships with community organizations to reach groups or individuals benefiting from increased access to internet-enabled devices and digital literacy training. Libraries may apply for up to 20 Chromebooks and accessories, in five-unit intervals, to provide members of the public training in cybersecurity, internet use, Chromebook use, and basic technology use. Libraries are required to work with a community partner, or partners, to identify the unique digital access needs of their communities and use the Chromebooks to target those needs. Further, libraries are encouraged to work with a partner organization or individuals from any of the eight covered populations benefiting from increased access to digital resources, as identified in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. These individuals include:  

  • aging individuals
  • veterans
  • individuals with disabilities
  • individuals with a language barrier
  • individuals who are a member of a racial or ethnic minority group
  • individuals who primarily reside in a rural area
  • incarcerated individuals
  • and individuals living in households whose income is not more than 150 percent of the poverty level.

The Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) will provide links to training resources for libraries as a starting point for their digital skills training programs. The ICfL will also host an online learning cohort for library staff covering best practices and providing an opportunity for program participants to connect.  

Zoom info session/webinar recording

Submit Applications July 25 – August 15, 2022

Program Period: October 1, 2022 – March 15, 2023

The goals of the program include:

  • Improve equitable access to information and library services by increasing digital inclusion, equity, and literacy for Idaho residents. 
  • Build the institutional capacity of libraries to better serve their communities through staff participation in online training programs and an ICfL learning cohort focused on digital inclusion, equity, and literacy. 
  • Support libraries, their partner organizations, and members of the public in reaching their economic and employment development goals by providing internet-enabled devices and digital literacy training. 

Digital Equity: The condition in which individuals and communities have the information technology capacity that is needed for full participation in the society and economy of the United States.  

Digital Inclusion: The activities that are necessary to ensure that all individuals in the United States have access to, and the use of, affordable information and communication technologies, such as reliable fixed and wireless broadband internet service; internet enabled devices that meet the needs of the user; and applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation, and collaboration; and includes obtaining access to digital literacy training; the provision of quality technical support; and obtaining basic awareness of measures to ensure online privacy and cybersecurity. 

Digital Literacy: The skills associated with using technology to enable users to find, evaluate, organize, create, and communicate information. 

Covered Populations:  

  • Individuals who live in covered households. The term “covered household” means a household, the income of which for the most recently completed year is not more than 150 percent of an amount equal to the poverty level, as determined by using criteria of poverty established by the Bureau of the Census. 
  • Aging individuals – The term “aging individual” means an individual who is 60 years of age or older; 
  • Incarcerated individuals, other than individuals who are incarcerated in a Federal correctional facility; 
  • Veterans – The term “veteran” means a person who served in the active military, naval, air, or space service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable; 
  • Individuals with disabilities – The term “disability” means, with respect to an individual (a) a physical of mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; (b) a record of such impairment; or (c) being regarded as having such an impairment;  
  • Individuals with a language barrier, including individuals who (a) are English learners; and (b) have low levels of literacy; 
  • Individuals who are members of a racial or ethnic minority group; and  
  • Individuals who primarily reside in a rural area – The term “rural area” means any area other than (a) a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants; (b) any urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants; and (c) in the case of a grant, a city, town, or incorporated area that has a population of greater than 20,000 inhabitants. 

Who can apply:

Open to public libraries in Idaho. One application/award per library legal entity. Multi-branch systems must submit a single application. For definitions of library types, please see ICfL’s grant eligibility requirements at https://libraries.idaho.gov/grants-funding/grant-eligibility/. 

The ICfL will screen submitted applications to ensure applicants are eligible to participate and have submitted complete applications. Applications deemed eligible and complete will then be selected for approval on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Official award notifications will be signed by the ICfL authorizing official, the State Librarian, or alternate assigned official. The completed application signed by the applicant, along with the official award notification signed by the ICfL authorizing official, will serve as the agreement/contract for this program. 

  • Award Summary. Libraries may apply for up to 20 Chromebooks and accessories to be used for digital equity, inclusion, and literacy efforts with partner organizations.  
  • Required Activities. The library agrees to: 
    1. Develop or strengthen an existing partnership with at least one community partner such as a volunteer organization, service organization, senior center, club, cultural organization, local department of labor or health, or veteran’s organization. Select a partner working with individuals that would benefit from digital literacy training and access to internet-enabled devices. If possible, select a partner working with one of the covered populations identified in this application.  
    2. At least one library staff member will complete online cybersecurity and Chromebook trainings identified by the ICfL. 
    3. At least one library staff member will participate in a learning cohort throughout the project period with the ICfL and other participating libraries. Attend at least two out of four Zoom learning sessions. 
    4. Make Chromebooks available to community partners and/or members of the public for the purpose of increasing digital equity, inclusion, and literacy. The Chromebooks should be used to provide training in Chromebook, internet, and technology use. Links to trainings will be provided by the ICfL as a starting point. 
  • Allowable Uses of Awarded Supplies 
    1. Chromebooks are intended to be used by the library or the partner organization to provide digital literacy training such as Chromebook use, internet use, cybersecurity, and general technology use.  
    2. The library may determine the location for the intended use of the Chromebooks (in the library, through the community organization, checkout by patrons). 
  • Prohibited Uses of Awarded Supplies 
    1. Using the Chromebooks as general-purpose computers for public access in the library without any additional training requirements during the award period.  
  • Reporting Requirements 
    1. Submit interim report by December 15, 2022. 
      The interim report includes questions regarding your established partnership, library staff training and online learning cohort participation, and the initial phase of Chromebook training for community partners and/or the public. You will be asked how many participants, in addition to library staff, have started or completed the digital training program.
    2. Submit final report by March 15, 2023. 
  • Records Retention 
    1. The library is required to retain records related to this program for a period of three years. 
  • Acknowledgement 
    1. This program is brought to you by the Idaho Commission for Libraries and was made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant number LS-250208-OLS-21 under the American Rescue Plan Act (Public Law 117-2) and the IMLS authorization statute (20 U.S.C. § 9101 et seq.). We ask participating libraries to acknowledge the IMLS in any program materials, including signage, brochures, webpages, press releases, and events.  
  • Submit applications between July 25 and August 15, 2022. Complete applications will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Informational webinar hosted by the ICfL August 25, 2022.
  • Conduct program activities from September 1, 2022 through March 15, 2023.
  • Participate online learning cohort sessions with the ICfL and other awarded libraries beginning in September 2022.
  • Establish program partnership with community organization in September 2022.
  • Library staff member completes online training courses provided by the ICfL in September and October 2022.
  • Library makes Chromebooks and training program available to partner organization and/or the public by early November 2022.
  • Submit interim report by December 15, 2022.
  • Submit final report by March 15, 2022.

The online application must be completed in one sitting and cannot be saved for completion later. We suggest drafting responses in a separate document prior to completing the online form. The application must be signed and submitted with an electronic signature on or before August 15, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. MT. Please keep in mind, applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis, so we highly encourage submitting soon after the application opens. If selected, this application will serve as your official award agreement along with a signed award notification from the ICfL.  

If you have questions about the application process, please contact either of the following staff members at the ICfL: 

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Program Application

Program Application

Application open July 25 – August 15, 2022

Click the button to complete the online grant application.

If you need a PDF copy of the application, please contact us.

Program Application

If you have questions about this program, please contact Library Technology Consultant Doug Baker at doug.baker@libraries.idaho.gov, (208) 639-4173, or Grants/Contracts Officer Talela Florko at talela.florko@libraries.idaho.gov, (208) 639-4164.

This program is brought to you by the Idaho Commission for Libraries and was made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.