06/11/10 — WCC gets $20,000 for library materials

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WCC gets $20,000 for library materials

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 11, 2010 1:46 PM

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State Secretary of Cultural Resources Linda Carlisle, right, chats with Wayne County Library Director Jane Rustin following a ceremony Thursday. Wayne Community College has been awarded nearly $20,000 in federal funds to enhance its library collection.

Wayne Community College has been awarded nearly $20,000 in federal funds to enhance its library collection, officials announced Thursday.

Secretary Linda Carlisle of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources visited the campus to make the announcement, which reflects $4.9 million in grants shared by 162 local and statewide library projects.

WCC will receive $19,986 in Library Services and Technology Act funds and will provide close to $5,000 in matching funds to support its newest curriculum programs, sustainable technologies and simulation and game development.

The grant is specifically for print materials and will allow the library to purchase materials in such areas as green technology, renewable energy sources, environmental engineering, sustainable agriculture and video game design, said Dr. Aletha Andrew, WCC director of library services.

More importantly, however, she said it will fill some gaps in the library and enhance services for students and the community.

"It's not just to serve the curriculum for those taking the courses now but it's for those investigating finding a job in that area, perhaps wanting to expand their knowledge, or just improving their quality of life," she said.

Such grants are critical during the current economic crisis when libraries are being challenged financially, Ms. Carlisle said.

"We all know that libraries are important to the health and vitality of every North Carolina city and town ... (and) have a powerful effect on the quality of life for the citizens of our state," she said. "Library use has grown exponentially and librarians are working diligently and creatively to meet the demands, while faced with shrinking budgets."

Efforts are being made to convince legislators to continue state funding, she said.

At the same time, the federal investment will help many, from young children on their way to becoming lifelong learners, to adults who utilize the library for a range of services -- from genealogy searches to job help.

Ms. Carlisle said the point was driven home during a recent visit to Washington, when the comment was made that "this is the first recession during an online economy" -- even more poignant when one considers that some of those affected do not have a computer.

"A big part of our commitment is realized through technology to better serve our citizens," she said. "We reach out to a lot of people over the year and you know the important work that our libraries do. N.C. public libraries alone delivered more than 84,000 youth and teen programs (last year)."

With an estimated 400 public library buildings and 58 community colleges across the state, not to mention all the other public colleges and universities, Mary Boone, state librarian, said the federal funding is helpful, but more is always needed.

"The importance of the library goes even beyond the economic impact, it's part of our survival," said Dr. Kay Albertson, president of WCC. "I will guarantee you that our almost $20,000 will be stretched as far as it possibly can be."