Micro-Grant Updates

Micro-Grant Check-In

The Micro-Grant program is on the verge of having awarded nearly $1 million dollars to state and local governments across Colorado. Take a minute to read about past Micro-Grant projects. 
 
Lyons Regional Library District: Micro-Grant Update, Awarded April 2018
 
LyonsLibrary Image
Being a small mountain community, the Lyons Regional Library District is the technology and information services hub of its area. The district discovered SIPA’s Micro-Grant program while searching for ways to promote and expand the library’s technology services. The district decided that the best way to encourage people to engage with the library’s tech services was to promote them where their community gathered like coffee shops, festivals, concerts and pub trivia nights. By doing this, the library was able to bring the information to residents and encourage people to learn how to use offerings if they did not already know how. "Giving members of the community the confidence to learn about technology was a major piece to growing our program," said Technology Librarian Ian Hawley. " Once they felt good about using the library as an informational portal, they had the credibility to tell other people to do so."
 
The outreach program was a huge success! Before the grant, the district had not been seeing high use rates of their website, online catalog or in-library computers. There are now lines for the 5 in-library computers, a higher number of e-books downloaded, double the visitors to their online catalog as well as to their website, and far more one-on-one appointments looking to learn about the technologies available to them.
 
"The community needs somewhere to turn for tech related things," said Hawley. "The library can offer an online catalog and e-books, but sometimes a patron might not know how to access the web or where to make an email account. In this case, technology education is so important to provide when you are expecting patrons to utilize library technologies."
Lyons Outreach at event image
 
The SIPA Micro-Grant acts as an arm of SIPA's mission: to assist governments in putting more information and services online. It exists to build bridges between the needs of communities and the proactive projects to support those needs.  "Working with the SIPA grant has been great,” said Hawley. “We are a small library with 6 staff members and an incredibly limited budget and the Micro-Grant gave us the opportunity to inform, and continue to inform, our community about our resources and how to utilize them.” The Lyons Regional Library is an example of  libraries acting as information centers, community centers, and technology facilities and their Tech Thursday initiative has brought people online, that might not be online otherwise, to use services and access information.
 
Learn about library events here.
Note: Tech Thursday (one-on-one) appointments are 1 hour long when made ahead of time and walk-in appointments are 30 minutes. You can make a Tech Thursday appointment ahead of time by calling or emailing the library.