Libraries receive grant money

Libraries receive grant money
Libraries receive grant money | Weakley County Libraries, grant funding

Accepting for the Ned Ray McWherter Weakley County Library include (from left) Secretary of State Tre Hargett, NRM Library Director Candy McAdams, Reelfoot Regional Library Director Susan Blakeley and Rep. Andy Holt. Photo by Tonya Evans, Press Intern
A project that has been in the works for two years has come to fruition and will pay off in a big way for libraries across the state. Seventy-eight libraries were selected to receive grant money to go towards computers and computer-related equipment and three libraries from Weakley County – Martin, Greenfield and Dresden – have received grant money totaling a little over $16,000 each.
These grants, which total more than $1.2 million statewide, are the product of a partnership between the Office of the Secretery of State, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Developmnet in a quest to strengthen rural communities by developing libraries. The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA), which is a division of the Tennessee Department of State, is administering the grant funds. TSLA has assisted the local libraries in finalizing consent agreements that have allowed the money to be disbursed.
Grants will be used to cover costs for computer equipment, new training, educational opportunities, Internet access and other enhancements approved by the USDA. Specifically, for local libraries, this includes seven computers (laptops) for a computer lab, digital projector, software, printer, furniture and wiring allowance and an instructor to teach free computer classes that will be designed to help people learn basic computer skills, resume writing, job searching, online applications and free e-mail. One of the computers will be  handicap and visually impaired accessible.
Citizens will also have free access to the Tennessee Electronic Library, an online collection of more than 400,000 resources including articles, videos, e-books, podcasts and other reference materials.
“Libraries in rural areas play an especially important role in connecting citizens with the resources and opportunities that are oftentimes isolated to urban areas,” Secretery of State Tre Hargett, who was on hand for the presentation, remarked.
“These grants will go a long way toward providing vital access to computers and the Internet, which is particularly helpful in some of the areas that were hit the hardest by the recession.
Local librarians, board members and city and state officials on hand for the grant presentations including C. E. Weldon Library Director Roberta Peacock, Dr. Nathan Porter Library Director Sandy Dowland, Ned R. McWherter Weakley County Library Director Candy McAdams, Greenfield City Recorder Randy Potts, Rep. Andy Holt, Martin Mayor Randy Brundige, Reelfoot Regional Library Director Susan Blakeley, and Weldon Library board members Maryann Baxter, Michelle Siler, Barbara Trentham and Carolyn James.

WCP 6.02.11

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