Grants in excess of $10,000 awarded to the Mason County Library System will lead to new programs and services beginning this summer.
County Library Director Pam Thompson said a $3,000 Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) grant from the American Library Association will provide for an online book club for adults. In addition, a $7,674 Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Cares Act Grant will provide laptop computers and nine hotspot devices for use by both staff and patrons.
“Books Without Bounds” will be the book club name, and members will join monthly through a Zoom meeting. The LTC initiative seeks to provide community engagement resources to small and rural communities.
With the grant money, Thompson said 14 Kindle e-readers were purchased. Beginning in June, those signing up for the book club will be issued a reader with the book selection already downloaded. A number of hard copies will also be on hand for those who prefer an actual book.
Participants will be given a month to read the selection, and will then join online to discuss the book. Thompson said a vote will be taken among those in the club to see if any want to meet in person in addition to online.
Once the club members discuss the book, the Kindles will be returned to the library to be downloaded with the next selection. There will be a variety of books read, according to Thompson, with the first being “A Man Called Ove,” a fictional Swedish comedy drama.
In addition to the Kindles and books, the grant also paid for the Zoom subscription and Kindle online services, along with e-reader cases.
The IMLS Cares Act Grant purchased three laptop computers, one for each library location in Point Pleasant, Mason and New Haven. They can be used by patrons in the library buildings.
The grant monies were also used for nine hotspot devices and six Kindle Paper White e-readers. The hotspots and e-readers will be available to check out for two week periods by library patrons who are in good standing.
The hotspot devices will provide wi-fi services in any area where there is a signal available. They consist of a small box-shaped device that will have subscriptions through Sprint.
While patrons will be able to check out the devices, the library staff will be using them as well. Canopies have been purchased to enable the libraries to hold “pop-up” events throughout the county.
Staff will hold the pop-ups at festivals, events, or spur of the moment locations throughout the summer. During the pop-ups, children will receive a free book and a craft kit.
For more information on library programs and services, call the Point Pleasant location at 304-675-0894; Mason at 304-773-5580; and New Haven at 304-882-3252.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her a firstname.lastname@example.org.