by Libbie Hough
The Orange County Public Library is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $17,882 grant from the State Library, Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).
The funds will enable the library system to offer technology services for children and their families at its Hillsborough location.
Orange County Government matched a portion of the grant, bringing the project total to $23,000. LSTA grants are federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services presented to eligible North Carolina libraries by the State Library.
The library will use the money to buy five Internet-access computers, five early literacy iPads, and five school-age iPads for public use, beginning January 2016. Having these tools on site will give children opportunities to work on school projects, access the library’s online resources and explore personal areas of interest. Establishing technology services for children and their families has been on the library’s to-do list for some time. In 2013, the library identified technology as a core service area.
“The library has public computers in the Adult and Teen Services area, but we had no computers in our children’s area,” said Amber Campbell, director of library youth services. “Parents and caregivers have asked us to improve our services in this area for quite a while, so we’re thrilled to have the funds needed to be able to respond to our customers’ needs.”
These new tools will expand the library’s support of early literacy skills by offering pre-selected, age-appropriate apps that target the early literacy practices of reading, talking, singing, writing, and playing. The iPad collection will enable the library to better support high interest STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) topics and common school projects.
Both sets of iPads will be integrated into youth programming to expand the library’s emphasis on creativity, collaboration and program solving.
“In today’s world, literacy involves being computer-savvy,” said Lucinda Munger, library director. “As a public library, we are dedicated to supporting literacy for all residents, and to helping others learn how to locate and make use of information. This project will help us be of better service to our youngest residents and their families.”
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. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Its grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.