The Gravette Public Library is one of 34 recipients of a grant that was made possible by the generous contributions of Acton Family Giving and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by the American Library Association.
Because of COVID, we've not had the annual library gala which provided funding for library programs. We also reduced our budgeted expenses in other areas. So how has the ALA COVID Library Relief Fund helped our local library? Although the list is long, here are a few of the improvements made possible by this fund.
1. Have you noticed all of the new books? Children's books. Young Adult books. Books for adults. Audiobooks. Check out the new book displays or browse the "New to the Library" on the online public access catalog. When COVID-19 resulted in activities being cancelled, more people began reading. The library responded by increasing the number of items that could be checked out. We needed more books and the ALA COVID Library Relief Fund has made a significant difference in the library's collections.
2. Genealogy researchers have new resources. Whether you're looking for ancestry ties that qualify you for college scholarships or are tracing your roots as a hobby, enjoy Ancestry Library Edition and the new ScanPro microfilm reader. The ScanPro reader replaces the broken microfilm equipment that was about 20 years old and for which replacement parts were no longer available. Did you know that the library has newspapers dating back to the 1800s on microfilm? Genealogy workshops are now available twice a month at the Billy V. Hall Senior Activity Center.
3. Hands on learning is popular at the Gravette Public Library. When onsite programs resume, code clubs and computer classes will accommodate more participants because this grant funded the purchase of ten additional laptops. A charging cart keeps the laptops powered and ready for use. These computers are already being used for the genealogy workshops.
4. Discover Kits are new to the library. These STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) kits can be checked out for use at home. Choices include Virtual Realty Science experiments, Snap Circuits, Paper Circuits, Gravity, Newton's Laws, Sphero Robots, Makey Makey, and more!
5. The library has long wished to provide an Adult Literacy program. This grant funded the purchase of Laubach Way to Reading curriculum and local Lions Club members are training to be adult literacy tutors.
6. An after-hours pick-up locker arrived last week. Once installed, patrons will be able to retrieve reserved items when the library is closed.
7. Did you know that there's a library in town? Now there is signage on the back of the building, aiding visibility from Highways 59 and 72.
These are just some of the ways that the ALA COVID Library Relief Fund has made a difference for our community. Thanksgiving is approaching and the staff of the Gravette Public Library are thankful for you, our patrons, and for everyone who has supported the library's mission "to provide quality resources, services and lifelong learning opportunities through digital and printed media, activities and programs to meet the educational, informational, and recreational needs of its community." Thank you so much!