JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Tennessee’s Secretary of State Tre Hargett was in Johnson City on Monday to present the city’s library with money as part of a statewide tech grant challenge. Roughly 40 libraries throughout the Volunteer State received funding as part of the challenge, but very few received more than Johnson City.
“It was a pretty ambitious program we proposed to do,” Lisa Williams, the writer of the grant proposal and a librarian at the Johnson City Public Library, says.
Hargett delivered the check worth more than $9,200 for the program which will help take the library’s services outside of its building with a slew of smartphones, tablets and training personnel.
“It will raise awareness of what’s available,” Hargett says. “It is one more connection point that gets outside of these walls of the library and help the people understand what they have access to.”
The Johnson City Public Library partnered with Mountain States Health Alliance, the Johnson City Police Department and the Tennessee Department of Corrections to provide the technology and trainers for use.
“When you have a community partner like the Johnson City library to come in and help us provide those skills and train our offenders or clients and increases their chances of being successful,” says Rob Reburn with the Department of Corrections.
Education and job skill help are being eyed for corrections and sometime in the next few months, the library will also start using the tablets for public classes.
“We reached for serving as many people as possible and it resulted in a pretty large reward for us,” Williams says.
Library leaders and their community partners have already met to begin working on a timeline of when they’ll be able to put this grant money to use.