Thanks to recently received grants, within the next year Greenlee County library patrons will have a place to use their creative side and be able to check out Chromebook computers.
In May, the Greenlee County Library System was awarded a $50,763 Library Services and Technology Act grant by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records. The money will be used to create Makerspaces - areas that contain tools and components people can use to work on creative projects - at the Clifton and Duncan Public Libraries.
“This grant will allow both libraries to provide programs that were requested by patrons through a survey," said Greenlee County Librarian Karen Soohy. "These requests included fiber arts, sewing machines, leather-working tools, photography/movie equipment, Cricut machines, computer programming and 3D printing.”
Soohy said the library system would get the funds and start ordering equipment at the end of this summer. The programs will start at the end of the year.
The libraries will partner with the Greenlee County Cooperative Extension, which Soohy said was already set up to do much of the programming, to train library staff in the new programs. The librarian from the Lordsburg Hidalgo Library in Lordsburg, New Mexico, will provide training on using the Cricut machines.
The Greenlee County Library System and Duncan Public Library were also each awarded a $5,000 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act grant through the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records. Those grants came from $657,000 in CARES Act funding the state library received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The Greenlee awards were for CARES Express grants, which allow libraries to request devices and kits. With the Greenlee County Library System grant, the Clifton Public Library will get six Chromebooks for patrons to check out and a basic virtual programming kit. The Duncan Public Library will receive 10 Chromebooks for checkout and an advanced virtual programming kit. Each library will also get a pair of sanitizing kits under the grants.