Rockland Public Library awarded funds through “Remote Work through Libraries” initiative
ROCKLAND — The Rockland Public Library has been awarded funding from The Maine State Library and the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development as part of the more than $1.7 million in Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan “Remote Work through Libraries” initiative.
The library is one of thirty-nine public libraries across the state which received funding to be used over the next three years to establish or expand services for Maine’s remote workforce. This includes targeted resources, services, and physical space to support remote and hybrid workers, as well as business owners and entrepreneurs.
The grants utilized Federal funds made possible by Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan and were awarded through a competitive grant program; the initiative focuses on libraries that serve communities where access to business centers or co-working spaces is lacking, or where there are barriers preventing workers from taking advantage of existing facilities.
Rockland’s Remote Worker Expansion Project is multi-pronged. The $25,000, funded through the State’s program will be used to transform existing library spaces by expanding and upgrading communal and private areas of the interior, creating safe, accessible, calm, welcoming, and productive co-working spaces, for remote workers and home entrepreneurs, all within the heart of the City’s center. Library reserve funds are being used to make upgrades to the exterior, making it more easily accessible; these upgrades have included a small handrail, automatic door openers on the west entrance, and repair of the sidewalk in front of the original building.
Additionally, the library will be implementing a robust mix of outreach and engagement activities to secure input, engagement and feedback from remote workers, home-based entrepreneurs and community/ business partners; and leveraging existing grant funding to pilot new programming to support remote workers in building professional and social connections, and gaining new work competencies.
“Rockland Public Library Director Amy Levine is thrilled that thanks to this funding, the Rockland Public Library Remote Worker Expansion Project will result in safer access to the facility, a total of 25 potential upgraded and expanded co-working spaces for remote workers and home-based entrepreneurs; improved accessibly for remote workers and other patrons; the engagement of new community partners and library patrons; and a greater overall usage of the library,” said RPL, in a news release. “This project will strengthen the Rockland Public Library as an important, vibrant, and evolving community resource – serving as not only a source of information, knowledge, and entertainment – but also as important contributor to the region’s overall growth and economic health.”