The Sturgis Public Library is pleased to announce that the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, John T. Vucurevich Foundation, and the United Way of the Black Hills have each awarded $6,000 to the Sturgis Public Library in the form of Disaster Fund Grants. Totaling $18,000, the grants will be used to support the library's efforts to assist those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The Public Library worked with the Meade 46-1 School Librarians, Scottie Bruch (Middle & High Schools) and Heidi Kruse (Elementary Schools) to identify areas of need. The result of that collaborative effort is portable Wi-Fi hotspots and the expansion of the public library's digital eBook and audiobook Overdrive collections for school-age students.
"As our schools moved to remote learning last spring, it became apparent that a segment of our students did not have access to the internet at home. The school district worked to connect those students, but it remains a struggle for many in our community. These hot spots will allow families to connect should we move to distance learning again in the coming year," said Kruse. "Additionally, many students and families did not have adequate access to level appropriate books. This new collection will help to fill that gap."
"We know that there is the probability of some students being homeschooled this fall and also the possibility that all of our students could be moved to a hybrid or virtual learning environment at some point during the school year," said Bruch. "We are grateful they will have access to quality content even when they can't physically access our school libraries."
These resources will be available to the whole community, not just students. "Like the schools, our public library services continue to be limited because of the pandemic. We know there are many in our community that will benefit from these hot spots beyond the students," explained Julie Moore Peterson, Head Librarian of the Sturgis Public Library. "We are thrilled to offer this new opportunity in a time of such need." The public library is in the process of purchasing 10 Wifi Hotspots for patron use, and new digital content is already available.