June 11, 2013

Raymond library wins Stephen and Tabitha King grant by Leah Hoenen

With a grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, the Raymond Village Library is expanding access to computers, the Internet and other technology essential for the library to provide important services to the community.

Library director Sally Holt said the funding will give a big boost to the library, which is working hard to maximize its space and offer the resources community members need from their local library.
“Technology is extremely important in today’s libraries. It’s right on top with what libraries need to pay attention to as far as getting patrons what they need,” she said.

While people still enjoy libraries for their atmosphere, books and magazines, more and more are turning to libraries to use computers, go online and print documents while searching and applying for jobs or doing school work, said Holt. Many do not have access to these types of technology at home, she said.

“Where else are people going to go to use a computer? They’re looking for jobs and helping children do research,” she said. Library staff and volunteers are on hand to guide those who are not computer savvy or who are unfamiliar with the Internet, as well, she said, and that assistance is another important resource for the community.

“To be able to find information on your own allows you to advocate for yourself. At the library, someone can assist you there,” said Holt.

The $10,000 grant will provide a printer, three new computers, a projector that people can use for presentations during programs, a film screen and extra hours for a staff member to use to train people to use a new automated system, said Holt. She expects the new equipment to be ordered in the next four to six weeks.

The library currently has one computer with Internet access and plans to add a second. Another computer will be at the desk and hooked up to the new automated system, while the third will be used by those looking up what books are available in the library, Holt said.

“Libraries are as important as they ever were. Where else can you come in for no reason and stay all day? All people are treated equally here and we’re always happy to see them,” said Holt.

She said the Raymond Village Library is thrilled to have received the grant and to be able to provide more services to patrons.

The library, located at 3 Meadow Road, is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. For more information, call 655-4283 or visit raymondvillagelibrary.org.

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