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R.I. Library Wins Grant for COVID Projects

Rock Island's main library at 401 19th Street

The American Rescue Plan will help the Rock Island Library offer its services safely as the pandemic continues. It's won a 50,000 dollar grant, from federal money awarded to the state, to promote "comfort, privacy, and service."

Spokeswoman Lisa Lockheart says when the pandemic started the library gave patrons the option of using wifi to work outside.

Rock Island Public Library

"And people would be just sitting on steps or just kind of hanging around and so we're looking at trying to provide an intentional space for people to gather outside for us to provide programming outside and other services."

Some of the grant will also pay for modifications inside the downtown and Southwest branches, including charging lockers and hubs.

"When you're looking at a historic building, you never have enough outlets, it's just kind of a rule of thumb I think. And so we're looking at intentional places where people can charge devices safely."

Lockheart says before COVID, people sat at tables inside the Rock Island Library, but to promote social distancing it also plans to install more carrel-type seating.