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ARPA Awards 2021: Sample Project Ideas

This guide will provide all the information you need to apply for an ARPA award from Washington State Library: forms, explanations, ideas, and links


ARPA applications closed 4/15/22

Apply here

Apply here

Possible ARPA Projects

Possible Projects

The ARPA grants program is intended to help communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic, as well as to related economic and community needs through equitable approaches. Projects must address one or more of the focal areas, and the purpose of a project cannot predominantly be staff training (since the intent of these funds is immediate and direct community impact).

Here is a list of ideas to get you thinking about the possibilities; it is not required that you choose any of these projects.


  • Lending devices/hotspots to eliminate barriers to technology
  • Utilizing technology and software to expand virtual and in-person programming and training for customers
  • Acquiring equipment to enhance your building’s Wi-Fi, including extending access outdoors
  • Collaborating to provide Wi-Fi in key community spaces
  • Establishing dedicated areas for health, legal, and other confidential virtual appointments

Digital Equity and Inclusion

  • Projects that bring services out of the building and into the community (ex: pop-up libraries/exhibits, outreach vehicles, mobile labs)
  • Digital literacy programs and training
  • Digital Navigators, trained staff, and/or paid consultants to assist with digital literacy and broadband adoption
  • Establishing or refreshing ADA workstations
  • Making digital programs or exhibits accessible
  • Increasing access to print collections (ex: postage for mailing books to patrons, equipment for scanning items for interlibrary loan or course reserve)
  • Increasing online collections [Note: subscriptions cannot extend beyond grant period of performance, but may be pro-rated]
  • Enhancing online access to collections

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism

  • Collaborations with community organizations that represent & serve people who are or have been marginalized/underserved
  • Hosting social workers and/or community health workers in the library
  • Translation services for websites, marketing materials, etc.
  • Outreach & communications that target communities that are or have been underserved and marginalized
  • Public facing EDI-focused community training
  • Creation of exhibits highlighting communities that are or have been underserved and marginalized

Workforce Development

  • Collaborations with workforce development community organizations
  • Lending devices with preloaded employment content
  • Hosting Career Navigators in the library and/or outreach vehicles
  • Developing workforce training spaces or workstations
  • Public programming and training for workforce development skills
  • Promoting workforce development resources and collections

Needs Arising from the Pandemic

  • Equipment and supplies to facilitate outdoor programming (picnic tables, outdoor charging stations, Summer Reading program supplies, etc.)
  • Equipment and furnishings to facilitate social distancing indoors (touchless bottle fillers, lockers, kiosks, etc.)
  • Outfitting public meeting rooms to conduct hybrid meetings
  • Programs and services that address patrons’ pandemic needs (e.g. embedded social workers, workshops on how to apply for benefits, etc.)