The McDonald County Library has recently been notified that we have been awarded a LSTA Public Community Development Grand that will provide us with funds of nearly $5000.00 to purchase new materials.
The aim and focus of the organization that has gifted us has stated their mission as this: “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission has been to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. For the past twenty years, our grant making, policy development and research has helped libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.”
In February of this year, we were contacted that we were eligible to apply for a grant that would give us a sizeable amount of funds to be used in our library system for the use of supplementing the materials, programs, and resources we offer our patrons. We immediately responded by collecting the required information and sent it in to be considered as a recipient. In a short time, we were notified that we had been awarded this coveted grant.
When the staff found out about the opportunity to purchase materials for our library we were ecstatic! It has been two long years with cuts in our budget and the cut and/or loss of equalization funds that has kept purchases at a bare minimum. This has resulted in less books, audio and visual materials, and other resources and programs for our patrons to enjoy.
We immediately determined what our library needed and what our patrons have been asking for more of. Study and exam materials, including SAT, GED, and scholarship opportunity and career testing books had been outdated or not returned from being checked out. We had not been able to replace them because of our budget issues. Many genres needed supplemented and filled in and Dvds which are one of our most popular circulated items, were expanded to the delight of our patrons.
With excitement, we shopped and/or ordered online our materials and have them cataloged and available to the public. Many of the patrons filled out a short survey we had asked them to complete, and we were happy to realize that we had made wise choices by the number of positive responses we received from our surveys. IMLS is an independent federal agency that provides library grants, museum grants, policy development, and research. Libraries and museums are fortunate to have these grants available. They have been true lifesavers for many public institutions, including ours.