A Message from the State Librarian: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

Thank you for all of your creative and thoughtful suggestions for how the New Jersey State Library may want to expend its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. We expect to receive the award this month and all funds have to be spent and projects completed by September 30, 2022.

I wanted to share some information with you about how we are able to use the funds. They are granted to us under the Library Services and Technology Act, which provides the framework for how the funds can be used, and funds need to be spent in alignment with the New Jersey State Library’s Five Year (2018-2022) LSTA Plan. The Institute of Museum and Library Services shared its priorities for the use of funds, which are:

  1. To enable libraries to reach residents with internet hot spots, accessible Wi-Fi and other digital inclusion efforts, particularly in support of education, health and workforce development;
  2. To provide rapid emergency relief to libraries across the country, allowing them to safely respond to the pandemic and implement other public health protocols; and
  3. To support library services that meet the needs of communities in their state, including costs such as personnel, technology, training, materials, supplies, equipment and associated indirect costs.

We are still gathering information for decision-making and lots of really worthy ideas have surfaced. Needless to say, we won’t be able to do everything. Having your perspective helps to frame the conversations and ensure that we’re headed in the right direction.

Thank you again for taking the time to reach out.

Jen Nelson
State Librarian
New Jersey State Library
609 278 2640 ext. 101