Public libraries and museums have been a great resource for students of all ages throughout the pandemic. Federal relief funding is available to continue to support the bandwidth, technology, and program costs that libraries and museums need to cover.  

Below is an overview of what’s available to you and who to reach out to about the funds. 

ARPA Funds 

On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law. The $1.9 trillion plan provides $200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in response to COVID-19. The federal relief funding will enable IMLS to efficiently provide critical funding to official agencies located in every state and territory and with reach into local communities across the U.S including State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) and Museum Entities. 

The funding supports museum and library services in addressing community needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic and in assisting with recovery. Projects may continue, enhance, or expand existing programs and services. They may launch new ones to address emergent needs and unexpected hardships, particularly as a way to address the digital divide. 

You can find the state allotments here. 

Libraries can find your state AASL chapter here. 


Both museums and libraries are eligible for funding under the IMLS CARES Act Grants. This funding should be used to build “on the education role of museums and libraries as trusted spaces to strengthen community connections and healing through exhibitions, programs, and events.” According to the grant, a Museum Entity can include, but is not limited to, aquariums, children’s/youth museums, science/technology centers, and zoological parks. Additionally, Library Entities include public libraries, elementary and secondary school libraries, and college/university libraries.  

STEM Education in Your Organization 

After-school programs, STEM clubs, summer camps, and enrichment programs are great places to explore STEM within your institutions! Here are some examples of how to use federal funding to fit STEM education into your institution’s programs: 

  • Summer programs: Thematic programs, like the 2022 Summer Library Program’s Oceans of Possibilities theme, are a great way to expand STEM learning into summer camps and activities! 
  • After-school programs: Expand or initiate educational programs like robotics and STEM clubs. 
  • Technology support: Use federal funding to purchase technology needs such as headphones and webcams
  • Makerspaces: Federal relief funding can be used to acquire equipment for your library or museum’s makerspace like 3D printers and other digital assets. 

Next Steps 

  1. Determine your needs 
  1. Get a commitment-free quote from STEM Supplies 
  1. Submit a proposal, participate in community meetings, or get support from your SLAA 

We hope you found this resource useful when navigating through the funding available to your library or museum! 

Supplies for a Successful Summer Program

As mentioned above, federal relief funding can be used on summer and after-school programs! Here are a few suggested STEM supplies to add to your program this summer.