FAQs

ARPA Tech

Q. How much is funding is available overall for ARPA Tech?

A. About 1 million has been allocated for ARPA Tech.


Q. How will the funding under this grant be allocated?

A. Allocations using the RPLAC funding formula were provided to library directors to guide budgets. These were sent via the grant launch email sent on July 1, 2021.


Q. How will the grants be awarded?

A. Awards will be a subgrant contract with a reimbursement process.


Q. How do I apply?

A. Library systems must apply through a grant application, similar to the Libraries with Walls grants from CARES federal funding. See the homepage for application links.


Q. Can I submit multiple applications per library system?

A. Not for ARPA Tech. Applications should be coordinated at the system level like Lib Tech.


Q. Will I need a Sam.gov registration and DUNS number to apply?

A. You will not need a Sam.gov registration but you will need an active DUNS number if your total award for all 3 grants goes over $30,000. We will be asking for your DUNS number at the application stage.


Q. Who will be reviewing the applications?

A. The applications will be reviewed by an award committee using a scoring matrix and the recommended awardee list will be sent to Wendy and Julie for final approval.


Q. What will be on the scoring matrix?

A. The scoring matrix will include IMLS grant intentions, COVID-19 impact, and budget justification.


Q. Will the project need to be replicable by other libraries? Is this a part of the scoring matrix?

A. This is not a requirement for GPLS ARPA Relief Grants. It may be for other external grants funded by ARPA.


Q. Are there any limits on spending?

A. Any single-piece item over $5,000 will need special approval from GPLS and IMLS. Items also cannot be from prohibited vendors or manufacturers (see 2 CFR § 200.216 for more information).


Q. What items are allowable under this grant?

A. Items must assist with pandemic relief and recovery. For ideas, please see the ARPA Tech Idea List or the Resources page.


Q. Can monthly service plans be included in project budgets?

A. Yes, but for the grant period only through September 30, 2022. Annual invoices or statements that go beyond the grant end date will not be accepted (this is different from the Libraries Without Walls grants).


Q. Will we have to include justification letters for certain items like with Lib Tech?

A. Justification letters will not be required with ARPA Relief Grants.


Q. Can I continue to update networks and computers like we do with Lib Tech each year?

A. Yes, as long as it will assist with COVID-19 relief and recovery.


Q. Can I purchase hardware and software for my staff?

A. Yes, as long as you can justify on the budget that it will provide some type of COVID-19 relief to patrons.


Q. What type of barcode scanner should I buy that works with PINES and will scan driver's licenses?

A. Any 2D 13-digit cod-a-bar scanner will work for this. Please note that the Bayscan Imaging 2D Drivers License Scanner (DLS4429-19) are manufactured by a excluded vendor under Prohibited Telecommunications and Video Surveillance (federal requirement).


Q. Can installation be included in project budgets?

A. Yes, but only to install specific equipment. Construction is not allowable under this grant.


Q. How can I chat with GPLS one-on-one about my application?

A. We would love to chat with you! Please email us at arpa@georgialibraries.org to set up a virtual meeting.


Q. How do I submit a budget revision?

A. A budget revision may be submitted via the website here. Please make sure the budget is signed by the library director before submitting. Revisions will no longer be accepted in the last 30 days of the grant period.


Q. Can I include new items in the budget revision?

A. New items are allowable as long as they directly related to the existing project and have good COVID-19 justification.


Q. When can I submit for reimbursement?

A. You can submit invoices for reimbursement when items have been received and paid, installation is completed, and after the month has passed for monthly plans.


Q. If awarded, how should I account for the funding in the library's budget?

A. Grant funding should be accounted for in the Special Revenue for Federal Funds under 290 - LSTA Grants and other Federal Money.


Q. What type of items should be searched in Sam.gov under the prohibited telecommunications and video surveillance requirement for federal funding?

A. Telecommunications would be any items that transmits data over a connection, such as the internet or Bluetooth. Video surveillance includes any hardware or software used in video surveillance.


Q. How do check companies on Sam.gov?

A. Go to Sam.gov, click on Exclusions, search by company name, check for to see if they have an exclusion, and print the results for each search. If there is an exclusion for your vendor, you will have to choose a new vendor. A demo of this check can be found in the webinar recordings.


Q. For the Sam.gov check, what companies do I have to look up before submitting my application?

A. For ARPA Tech, you have to check both the vendor and manufacturer of all pertinent items on your budget.


Q. For reimbursements, what should be included on the invoice to GPLS and in the packet?

A. The invoice to GPLS should be on library letterhead, have a unique invoice number, include the grant name (i.e. ARPA Tech, Digital Inclusion, eBooks), and a breakdown of items. The breakdown should match the approved budget and the attached supporting document. Support documentation should include an invoice from the vendor that matches the budget and what is on the invoice as well as proof of payment (i.e. check stub, credit card statement) for each vendor invoice. Reimbursements can be submitted here for payment.


Q. What budget template should I use?

A. Please use the budget templates designed for these grants. Templates can be found on the Resources page of the ARPA Relief Grants website. If the correct form is not used, your application may be disqualified or knocked down in scoring.


Q. Where do I upload the budget on the application form?

A. Once you choose ARPA Tech, Digital Inclusion, or Both Grants, the form will show/hide the appropriate questions, including a place to upload your budget PDF packet and Excel spreadsheet.


Q. Can I attach an additional page for budget justification?

A. Since you have to provide COVID-19 justification for all items on the budget, the justification for each category (i.e. equipment, materials and supplies, etc.) may get long. You can attach an additional sheet of paper with your justifications and note "see attached justification" in the box on the budget template. Please make sure to still break up the budget justification by category. So, you will write a paragraph for equipment, then a new paragraph for materials and supplies, etc.

Digital Inclusion

Q. How much is funding is available overall for Digital Inclusion?

A. About 1 million has been allocated for Digital Inclusion.


Q. How will the funding under this grant be allocated?

A. Funding will be awarded to library systems based on need. Budget caps are not required for this grant.


Q. How will the grants be awarded?

A. Awards will be a subgrant contract with a reimbursement process.


Q. How do I apply?

A. Library systems must apply through a grant application, similar to the Libraries with Walls grants from CARES federal funding. See the homepage for application links.


Q. Can I submit multiple applications per library system?

A. Yes, you can submit multiple applications, but the chances of two application being funded are low. Make sure to prioritize what you really need. Applications can also include mini-projects for different branches.


Q. Will I need a Sam.gov registration and DUNS number to apply?

A. You will not need a Sam.gov registration but you will need an active DUNS number if your total award for all 3 grants goes over $30,000. We will be asking for your DUNS number at the application stage.


Q. Who will be reviewing the applications?

A. The applications will be reviewed by an award committee using a scoring matrix and the recommended awardee list will be sent to Wendy and Julie for final approval.


Q. What will be on the scoring matrix?

A. The scoring matrix will include IMLS grant intentions, COVID-19 impact, and budget justification.


Q. Will the project need to be replicable by other libraries? Is this a part of the scoring matrix?

A. This is not a requirement for GPLS ARPA Relief Grants. It may be for other external grants funded by ARPA.


Q. Are there any limits on spending?

A. Any single-piece item over $5,000 will need special approval from GPLS and IMLS. Items also cannot be from prohibited vendors or manufacturers (see 2 CFR § 200.216 for more information).


Q. Can monthly service plans be included in project budgets?

A. Yes, but for the grant period only through September 30, 2022. Annual invoices that go beyond the grant end date will not be accepted (this is different from the Libraries Without Walls grants).


Q. What items are allowable under this grant?

A. Items must assist with pandemic relief and recovery. For ideas, please see the Digital Inclusion Idea List or the Resources page.


Q. Will we have to includes justification letters like with Lib Tech?

A. Justification letters will not be required with ARPA Relief Grants.


Q. Can installation be included in project budgets?

A. Yes, but only to install specific equipment. Construction is not allowable under this grant.


Q. Can something like site surveys for wireless connectivity be included in the project budget?

A. Yes, as long as a quote/invoice is issued for a specific service like a contractor. Anything more expansive would be considered a subaward and have more federal requirements.


Q. How can I chat with GPLS one-on-one about my application?

A. We would love to chat with you! Please email us at arpa@georgialibraries.org to set up a virtual meeting.


Q. How do I submit a budget revision?

A. A budget revision may be submitted via the website here. Please make sure the budget is signed by the library director before submitting. Revisions will no longer be accepted in the last 30 days of the grant period.


Q. Can I include new items in the budget revision?

A. New items are allowable as long as they directly related to the existing project and have good COVID-19 justification.


Q. When can I submit for reimbursement?

A. You can submit invoices for reimbursement when items have been received and paid, installation is completed, and after the month has passed for monthly plans.


Q. If awarded, how should I account for the funding in the library's budget?

A. Grant funding should be accounted for in the Special Revenue for Federal Funds under 290 - LSTA Grants and other Federal Money.


Q. What type of items should be searched in Sam.gov under the prohibited telecommunications and video surveillance requirement for federal funding?

A. Telecommunications would be any items that transmits data over a connection, such as the internet or Bluetooth. Video surveillance includes any hardware or software used in video surveillance.


Q. How do check companies on Sam.gov?

A. Go to Sam.gov, click on Exclusions, search by company name, check for to see if they have an exclusion, and print the results for each search. If there is an exclusion for your vendor, you will have to choose a new vendor. A demo of this check can be found in the webinar recordings.


Q. For the Sam.gov check, what companies do I have to look up before submitting my application?

A. For ARPA Tech, you have to check both the vendor and manufacturer of all pertinent items on your budget.


Q. For reimbursements, what should be included on the invoice to GPLS and in the packet?

A. The invoice to GPLS should be on library letterhead, have a unique invoice number, include the grant name (i.e. ARPA Tech, Digital Inclusion, eBooks), and a breakdown of items. The breakdown should match the approved budget and the attached supporting document. Support documentation should include an invoice from the vendor that matches the budget and what is on the invoice as well as proof of payment (i.e. check stub, credit card statement) for each vendor invoice. Reimbursements can be submitted here for payment.


Q. If I want to place a book drop or book locker outside of library property, what guidelines do I need to follow for the grant?

A. With these types of partnerships, it is important that an agreement is in place with the library being solely responsible for the management of the item. As long as the partner is providing a location only with no additional responsibilities and not receiving funding from this grant, the partnership will avoid the subaward designation. As this is a federal grant, subawards come with more responsibilities and compliance requirements.


Q. What budget template should I use?

A. Please use the budget templates designed for these grants. Templates can be found on the Resources page of the ARPA Relief Grants website. If the correct form is not used, your application may be disqualified or knocked down in scoring.


Q. Where do I upload the budget on the application form?

A. Once you choose ARPA Tech, Digital Inclusion, or Both Grants, the form will show/hide the appropriate questions, including a place to upload your budget PDF packet and Excel spreadsheet. 


Q. Can I attach an additional page for budget justification?

A. Since you have to provide COVID-19 justification for all items on the budget, the justification for each category (i.e. equipment, materials and supplies, etc.) may get long. You can attach an additional sheet of paper with your justifications and note "see attached justification" in the box on the budget template. Please make sure to still break up the budget justification by category. So, you will write a paragraph for equipment, then a new paragraph for materials and supplies, etc.

eBooks

Q. How much is funding is available overall for eBooks?

A. About 1 million has been allocated for eBooks.


Q. How will the funding under this grant be allocated?

A. Allocations using the RPLAC funding formula were provided to library directors to guide spending. These were sent via the grant launch email sent on July 1, 2021.


Q. How will the grants be awarded?

A. At this time, we are looking to pay OverDrive at the GPLS level and then library systems would direct purchase eBooks from them. Any library system that does not have an OverDrive account will have to go through the subgrant process and be reimbursed based on their allocation.


Q. How do I apply?

A. Library systems must apply through a grant application, similar to the Libraries with Walls grants from CARES federal funding. See the homepage for application links.


Q. Can I submit multiple applications per library system?

A. Not for eBooks. Applications should be coordinated at the system level like Lib Tech.


Q. If the funding is for OverDrive, will the purchase be for all of the GADD consortium or would each system have an amount that we can purchase in OverDrive for our patrons to have first access?

A. Each system will be allocated a dedicated amount. It will be up to the consortium members if they want to pool their allocated amounts for eBooks that the whole consortium can use.


Q. How fast does the eBooks funds need to be spent?

A. Per IMLS, ARPA funding needs to be used to respond directly and immediately to the pandemic. Due to this, eBooks grant funding need to be spent quickly at the beginning of the grant period. It cannot be divided over the 12-month period. There is not a formal spending deadline to aid flexibility. We want you to spend funding quickly to get the maximum use out of your funds, but want to maintain flexibility where we can. The checkpoint to gauge spending progress will be the first progress report due on October 15th. On this progress report, we will see how much you have spent by September 30th. If you haven't spent all funds by this date, we will reach out to work with you on spending the funding quickly.


Q. After being awarded, we can I start spending funds?

A. For OverDrive libraries, you can start spending funds after you have accepted the award via email to GPLS. For the subcontract libraries, you can start spending once GPLS returns the fully executed procurement contract to you.


Q. If GADD purchases eBooks on my behalf, what am I responsible for?

A. You are still responsible for knowing what was exactly purchased with your allocation and be able to report on it for the quarterly progress reports. The customized marketplaces with the vendor should aid in the process by allowing GADD to download an invoice with the eBooks purchased under your account.


Q. For the 3 subcontract libraries, how should I account for the funding in the library's budget?

A. Grant funding should be accounted for in the Special Revenue for Federal Funds under 290 - LSTA Grants and other Federal Money.


Q. What type of items should be searched in Sam.gov under the prohibited telecommunications and video surveillance requirement for federal funding?

A. Telecommunications would be any items that transmits data over a connection, such as the internet or bluetooth. Video surveillance includes any hardware or software used in video surveillance.


Q. How do check companies on Sam.gov?

A. Go to Sam.gov, click on Exclusions, search your vendor, check for to see if they have an exclusion, and print the results for each search. If there is an exclusion for your vendor, you will have to choose a new vendor. A demo of this check can be found in the webinar recordings.


Q. For the Sam.gov check, what companies do I have to look up before submitting my application?

A. For eBooks, you only have to check your eBook provider as the vendor for your purchases.


Q. For reimbursements, what should be included on the invoice to GPLS and in the packet?

A. The invoice to GPLS should be on library letterhead, have a unique invoice number, include the grant name (i.e. ARPA Tech, Digital Inclusion, eBooks), and a breakdown of items. The breakdown should match the approved budget and the attached supporting document. Support documentation should include an invoice from the vendor that matches the budget and what is on the invoice as well as proof of payment (i.e. check stub, credit card statement) for each vendor invoice. Reimbursements can be submitted here for payment.

Updated September 27, 2021