Libraries receive technology grants checks
By Jeff Whitten
Staff Photos by Jeff Whitten
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, left, presents grant checks to Selmer’s Jack McConnico Memorial Library Director Norma Humphrey (top center) and Adamsville’s Irving Meek Jr. Public Library Director Marsha Jernigan (above center) Friday in Selmer, with State Rep. Vance Dennis, State Sen. Dolores Gresham and Paul Estes, President of the McNairy County Library Board.
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett presented the Adamsville and Selmer public libraries each with a check for $14,034 Friday in Selmer.
The grants will be used to upgrade technology at both libraries.
They are the result of a partnership between the Office of the Secretary of State, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The grants will be used for computer equipment, training, educational opportunities and internet access.
“Libraries in rural areas play an especially important role in connecting citizens with the resources and opportunities that are oftentimes isolated to urban areas. These grants will go a long way toward providing vital access to computers and the Internet, which is particularly helpful in some of the areas that were hit the hardest by the recession,” Hargett said.
Director Marsha Jernigan of the Irving Meek Jr. Public Library in Adamsville explained that the library already has 12 computers that were granted to them by the state.
“We’ve been helping people look for and apply for jobs online,” she said.
The money will be used for six or seven more computers, a printer, and for computer training, she said.
“We’re just tickled to death. I would like to thank Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett for thinking about us and doing everything he can for improvements to our library,” Jernigan said.
The money will be used to set up a computer lab in the conference room at the Jack McConnico Memorial Library in Selmer, according to its Director, Norma Humphrey.
Computer classes will be taught there, also. They will start with basic computing and progress to more advanced topics, Humphrey said. She said she was in the very beginning stages of planning the classes.
The terms of the grant require 60 hours of computer classes.
“We are excited about this and are happy to offer this to the public,” Humphrey said.
She also thanked sponsors of the library.
“I want to thank all of the sponsors of the library. We have a lot of good sponsors and we appreciate that and we need more sponsors,” she said.
More than 70 libraries in the state will receive more than $1.2 million from this grant.