The Grapevine Public Library will create an all-new eSports Academy after receiving a $75,000 grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

The new academy will allow gamers and gaming teams to access high-powered equipment, such as gaming computers, laptops and high-speed data communication. It will also offer a collaborative space for team building, learning, practicing and competing.

Grapevine Public Library Director Ruth Chiego said the library is grateful for the opportunity, which will help lead to job creation and program development for those who may have limited financial resources or skills.

“Gaming of all types at the library will encourage young customers to interact with a diverse group of peers, share their expertise with others, including adults, and develop new strategies for gaming and learning,” Chiego said in a press release. “And libraries have the distinct advantage to provide access to the entire community in a venue where players and teams can be nurtured and encouraged.”

The library plans to collaborate with local eSports organizations, professionals and scholastic teams as well as host events and sessions on various gaming topics. Plans will for the academy will roll out starting in spring 2021, and it will be available after school, in the evenings and on weekends.

“ESports has become an outlet for many students that are uninterested or unable to participate in traditional sports, allowing them to reap the benefits of team sports that could easily pass them by,” said Chris Woodward, technology librarian for the city, in a press release. “These attributes include increasing confidence, perseverance, decision making, problem-solving, managing stressful situations, and staying calm under pressure.”

The Grapevine Public Library’s eSports Academy is one of 44 projects funded through a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, which was provided to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.