My Pulse News

Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area


$3,000 Grant Will Help Library Work with Residents to Provide Access to Library Materials 

Polk County Library has been selected as one of 200 libraries to participate in Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that helps library workers better serve their small and rural communities. 

The competitive award comes with a $3,000 grant that will help the library provide patrons greater access to library materials.

“This grant will provide the funds to expand our library services and purchase supplies to provide easier access to the library’s materials,” said Polk County Librarian Mary Renick. 

As part of the grant, Polk County Library staff will take an online course in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff will then host a conversation with patrons and those who work with senior adults about needs to promote lifelong learning and use the grant funds to purchase supplies for easier access to online materials.

Over 25% of the population in Polk County is over the age of 65, which makes them the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Additionally, due to the pandemic, Polk County Library has reduced its hours of operation and must quarantine returned materials. This has left our patrons with limited options when accessing materials. With this grant, we are seeking more effective ways for our patrons, especially our senior patrons to gain access to our materials.

If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, please contact Mary Renick at 479.394.2314 or for more information.

More than 300 libraries applied for the grant, according to ALA.

Since 2014, ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative has re-imagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types have utilized free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a space for residents to come together and discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees, and staff.

“Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).”

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