Off The Shelf @ Your Library - Grants and more grants

By Kathy Pillatzki
Assistant Director
Henry County Library System

The past year has been a good one for Henry County libraries, grant-wise. Our library staff has applied for and received numerous grants that have helped enrich the programs and services we offer, and have allowed us to extend our reach in the community.

Last fall, HCLS was the recipient of nearly $20,000 to purchase materials to support the STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). This grant came to us via Georgia Public Library Service, with funds provided by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services. Funds from this grant were used to update our collection of print materials and DVDs on subjects such as robotics, environmental issues, alternative fuels, computer coding, mathematics, and related topics.

In May, we received two grants. The first was from Central Georgia EMC to support one of our outreach programs, The Library Goes to Camp. Once a week in June and July, a library employee visits each of the day camps for school-age children operated by Henry County Parks and Recreation to lead a book discussion time. She also delivers an assortment of books for the campers to enjoy during a designated reading time each day. This allows children who might otherwise be unable to visit the library during the week to participate in the libraries’ summer reading program. Central Georgia EMC donated $1,000 for the purchase of books to support this initiative.

The second grant in May came from the William R. and Sara Babb Smith Foundation. Many of our classic books for children and teens were nearly “loved to death” and were showing signs of age and wear due to years of checkouts. The Smith Founda-tion provided a generous grant of $10,000 to replace worn copies of children’s classics in special library bindings that will hold up to years of use.

In June, we were informed that Georgia Public Library Service had some projects that came in under budget, creating a surplus that would be distributed directly to public libraries in Georgia for the purchase of circulating materials. Henry County Library system received approximately $16,000, which was used to completely update our travel section and to purchase large print books and more audio books in both CD and digital formats.

In September, Georgia Public Library Service announced a competitive grant for materials to further support the STEM /STEAM curriculum by adding materials to support the arts and technology. HCLS applied for and received $10,000 which was used to supplement our arts and technology collections in print and DVD formats, as well as purchase computer programming and robotics kits to expand the scope of our computer coding classes for children and teens.

Finally, work is scheduled to begin next week on new, automatic doors for the main entrance of the McDonough library. The original doors were heavy and no longer functioning properly. This project is made possible by a $10,000 Maintenance, Repair and Renovation matching grant from Georgia Public Library Service.

Your library leadership team has worked hard to apply for and implement these grants, and to make the new materials available to you. Stop by any Henry County library to enjoy the new resources and services made possible by these very generous grants!