The state has awarded a $100,000 grant of federal funds to the Lincoln County Library System to go toward technology equipment for its three branch libraries.
The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants come from the State Library of North Carolina — a division of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources — and are made possible through funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
The federal funding is intended to help libraries deliver relevant and up-to-date services for their communities, while also providing cost-effective access to the Internet and making library resources more accessible to all users.
In a press release from the office of County Manager George Wood, he stated that the funds would be used for radio-frequency ID tagging of books and self-checkout technology, with stations for all three branches.
“This improvement will make our library processes more efficient, help locate materials quicker, improve security on our library materials and allow patrons faster service,” Library Director Jennifer Sackett stated in the release.
The State Library is awarding $1.4 million total in LSTA grants for 71 local and statewide library projects for community outreach, library book collections, technology improvements and digitization of materials.
North Carolina disseminates federal library funds through competitive grants to local libraries. Remaining funding from the IMLS is directed to statewide programs and resources that benefit all libraries, such as the online encyclopedia, NCpedia, noted a N.C. Department of Cultural Resources news release.
“Federal grants awarded by the State Library to public, academic, school and community college libraries are critical during this time when libraries across the state are pinched for dollars, facing shrinking budgets but increased demand,” State Librarian Cal Shepard said.
The grant to the Lincoln County Library System will be for the coming fiscal year.
“I want to congratulate Jennifer on obtaining this grant,” Wood noted in the release.
“Fiscal year 2013 is the first year we will operate as a stand-alone system instead of part of the Gaston-Lincoln Regional Library and the first year we have been eligible for this type of grant.”
“She has worked very hard to secure the maximum amount of possible grant funding, and it will improve our operations greatly,” he added.