President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 was signed into law on March 11. It designates $200 million in pandemic response funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This is the largest single increase in IMLS’s 25-year history.



Of the $200 million, $178 million is allocated for state library administrative agencies (SLAs). Idaho’s allotment of the ARPA funding will be approximately $2.4 million and will help support Idaho libraries’ efforts to keep students learning and adults earning. Some of the funding will also be utilized to address the need for equitable access to broadband and quality digital content. The lack of digital equity throughout the state was illuminated by the pandemic, and the ARPA funding will aid in bridging the digital divide.

At this point, we do not know the timeline for receiving or allocating the funding or other requirements. We will communicate those details as soon as they are available via LibIdaho and other outlets, including our website,

“These funds will help the Idaho library community address the homework gap, ensure that more Idahoans have resources needed to secure better employment options, and much more,” State Librarian Stephanie Bailey-White said. “I am pleased libraries were recognized for the essential role they play and look forwarding to working with state leaders to implement far-reaching plans.”

The pandemic response package also includes funding for academic, public, and school library-eligible programs, including the Emergency Education Connectivity Fund through the federal E-rate program.

See the American Library Association fact sheet for more information about these programs. ALA fact sheet