July 28, 2020
Chisholm Trail Museum Awarded CARES Act Grant to Respond to COVID-19
KINGFISHER, Okla. — The Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) has awarded a $1,000 grant to Chisholm Trail Museum in Kingfisher to help the museum purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies to keep staff and visitors safer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chisholm Trail Museum is one of 64 institutions to receive a grant from ODL courtesy of the federal CARES Act and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). A total of $60,000 was distributed by ODL to address the COVID-19 concerns of public libraries, tribal libraries, tribal cultural centers, museums and historic sites in the state.
Museum Director Jason Harris said the funding will be used to provide additional cleaning materials to meet Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) guidelines, purchase personal protective equipment for the staff, help the museum convert to touchless restroom equipment, provide a sanitation station and more.
“It looks like we may be dealing with this virus for some time, so it’s very important that we follow CDC guidelines as we remain open to the public,” Harris said. “This grant will provide supplies we need to help reduce risk of exposure for our employees and customers as we all continue to learn more about COVID-19 and its health risks.”
“Our mission is to serve our community and its visitors, and we want to continue that mission in the safest way we can,” continued Harris.
The museum, located at 605 Zellers Ave. in Kingfisher, is currently open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, occupancy is limited. The museum asks that visitors practice social distancing by staying six feet away from staff and visitors who are not in your party. The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) currently requires face masks in all public areas of its museums, sites and affiliates, including the Chisholm Trail Museum.
In developing the grant, ODL Director Melody Kellogg said institutions were surveyed about any hurdles they might face in returning to service during the pandemic. The top concerns of libraries, museums and other cultural institutions were a shortage of cleaning supplies and PPE equipment, fear on the part of staff and the public, and the challenge of enforcing social distancing and other best-health practices in their facilities.
“We developed the grant proposal to help address these concerns,” Kellogg said. “We were very fortunate in that we were able to provide some funding to all 64 of the eligible institutions that applied.”
The PPE grant is the first of two that will be available from ODL, with funding from IMLS and the CARES Act. The grants were designed to help the state’s important cultural institutions address two impacts of COVID-19: public health concerns, and the need to breach the digital divide and improve digital inclusion to better serve the public.
“The pandemic has thrown a spotlight on the digital divide in our state and nation,” Kellogg said. “At a time when, for safety reasons, we are depending more than ever on electronic communication, far too many of our fellow citizens don’t have the tools or access needed to take advantage of important services.”
A complete list of Oklahoma’s 64 PPE grant recipients is at news.oklibshare.org/federal-funding/odl-awards-cares-act-ppe-grants-to-64-institutions. Recipients of the digital inclusion grants, totaling $291,320, will be announced later in July.
For more information about the Chisholm Trail Museum, please call 405-375-5176 or visit www.ctokmuseum.org.
The Chisholm Trail Museum is an affiliate of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries is the official state library of Oklahoma. The agency serves the information and records management needs of state government, assists with public library development, coordinates library and information technology projects for the state, and serves the general public through its specialized collections.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services works to advance, support and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant-making, research, and policy development.