As the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgent need for reliable internet, the Foundation continues to prioritize opportunities to increase digital equity in rural communities. A recent grant to Friends of the Library of Hawai‘i will support technology upgrades at Hawaiʻi State Public Libraries located in rural communities throughout the state over the next year.

This $500,000 grant will provide the 20 percent match necessary to tap federal funding from the Federal Communications Commission, specifically for the renovation of libraries located in rural and low-income communities. 

“We are excited to improve connectivity at our public libraries to support new partnerships to bring telehealth and additional learning opportunities to the most rural communities,” said Hawai‘i State Librarian Stacey Aldrich. “This grant ensures that we can upgrade our network of hardware, software, and connectivity to the internet and leverage federal E-Rate funding to build the capacity needed by our communities to connect to education, health, employment, and the world.”