The La Vergne Public Library in La Vergne and E.G. Fisher Public Library in Athens both recently received grants administered by the Tennessee State Library & Archives.
“Public libraries provide essential access to technology for many Tennesseans,” Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett said in an undated statement. “Many patrons rely on their local library to work on school projects, apply for jobs or conduct the same business many of us do online every day.”
It was a pleasure join Rep. Mike Sparks as he presented a #TNLibraryArchives Technology Grant to the La Vergne Public Library. The library will use the funds to purchase new desktop computers and monitors. @LaVergne37086 @JasonBCole pic.twitter.com/gZ764maE43
— Tre Hargett (@sectrehargett) October 18, 2022
The La Vergne Public Library received a $15,174 technology grant to purchase new desktop computers and monitors while the E.G. Fisher Public Library received $12,150.00 in Training Opportunities for the Public (TOP) grants to provide one-on-one technology training, advanced technology training classes, and alternative power supplies, according to press releases by the Tennessee secretary of state’s office.
The @EGFisherTAG will purchase wi-fi hotspots and solar charging stations and provide computer training with a grant from the #TNLibraryArchives. Public Libraries have strong supporters in Rep. Mark Cochran, McMinn County Mayor John Gentry and Athens Mayor Bo Perkinson. pic.twitter.com/vPATs95vON
— Tre Hargett (@sectrehargett) October 20, 2022
Libraries in Tennessee use technology grant funds to purchase or replace computers, software, networking hardware, and technology training for their staff and patrons. Technology grants are funded by the Tennessee state government and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and administered through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Local funds are matched with each grant, according to the secretary of state’s office.
TOP grants are for libraries to provide digital literacy training to the public as well as hot spots and solar charging stations, to increase internet access at the library, and for the Digital Navigators pilot project, the secretary of state’s office notes. TOP grants are administered by the Tennessee State Library & Archives and supported by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD).
As previously reported by The Tennessee Star, more than $349,000 in TOP grant funding is being awarded to increase access to technology at 50 public libraries across Tennessee this year. Meanwhile, $320,000 in technology grant funding is being awarded to increase access to technology at 83 public libraries across the state this year, according to the secretary of state’s office.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Technology Grant” by Tre Hargett.