The Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, has awarded two Library Services Technology Act grants to the Greenlee County Library System.
The first grant in the amount of $24,796 will allow both the Duncan Public Library and the Clifton Public Library to change to a new Integrated Library System and issue county wide library cards that can be used at either library. This new system will allow patrons to search the library collections much more easily and put books on hold on line. There will also be a communication aspect so patrons can be contacted easily with library information.
Karen Soohy, Greenlee County librarian, stated, “This new ILS was really a need for both libraries. The one that is currently in use is meant to be used in schools and did not meet what our public libraries really needed to be effective and was not very easy to use for patrons. The pandemic made us realize that the fact that there was no communication ability in the old program was a major concern. The new system will add communication links, as well as easy collection searching for both libraries on one site. The grant will also allow us to create a new county wide library card that can be used at Duncan, Blue and Clifton libraries. The second grant will help us develop a wonderful early literacy initiative as well as school readiness backpack program to get our children ready for preschool and kindergarten.”
The second grant in the amount of $33,506 will be used in a program called “Raising Readers”. This grant will focus on two different but related programs. First is introducing 1000 Books Before Kindergarten to Greenlee County children ages 0-5. Lots of new books will be available for children in the county to meet this goal prior to entering kindergarten. Incentives for each level reached will be available to registered children. The second part of the grant is the creation of basic literacy and manipulative skills backpacks that contains manipulative toys, books, crafts and tips for parents to use with preschool children.
Sabrina Dumas, Clifton librarian, stated, “I am very excited for the opportunities both of these grants will provide our community members. Highly anticipated, the new ILS will allow for easy and effective communication between our libraries and patrons. Resources provided through our Raising Readers grant will encourage parents to help young children gain the confidence necessary to become strong readers.”
Ashlee Germain, Duncan librarian, also said, “We are looking forward to being able to put books into the hands of our local children so they can have their own libraries at home. The backpacks that will be available to check out to increase literacy will be a great addition to our Library of things. The ILS is greatly needed to have a more user-friendly interface for our patrons and to streamline the ease of using all the Greenlee County libraries in the system with the same card.”
In 2020, the Arizona State Library received about $3.5 million under the Library Services and Technology Act, which is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Arizona libraries received $850,000 awarded on a competitive basis. The remaining funds are used to support statewide services, including family literacy and reading programs, electronic databases, digital government initiatives, continuing education classes, and other programs.
“These sub grants allow libraries to go above and beyond in their communities,” said Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. “These projects will increase access to information and education for Arizonans. They support institutional improvements and help form inclusive communities.”