Hargett, Darby present Martin Public Library with tech grant


CHECK PRESENTATION – Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Rep. Tandy Darby presented a $10,242 technology grant check to the Martin Public Library on Sept. 1. The money will be used for Wi-Fi hotspots and charging stations. Also pictured are library staff members and local community leaders.[/caption]

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Rep. Tandy Darby both paid a visit to the Martin Public Library on Thursday, Sept. 1 to provide a boost to the library’s ability to serve the public, particularly when it comes to technology.

Hargett and Darby presented the library with a $10,242 check from a Training Opportunities for the Public (TOP) Grant recently awarded by the state. State Senator John Stevens also supported this grant, but he was unable to attend the check presentation.

As Library Director Katie Parr detailed, this money will be used to purchase 10 Wi-Fi hotspots so that the public can connect their devices wirelessly to the internet. Parr said that the funding will also be used to purchase and install two solar charges stations outside the library facility for use by the public in charging their devices.

“Jessie Newsome, the library's technology coordinator, played a huge role in securing these funds for the library,” said Parr. “We are very grateful to her for her work on this project.”

“The Martin Public Library provides so many important resources that benefit our community,” said Darby. “These grants will further efforts to provide improved access and convenience for our citizens. I appreciate the hard work of our library staff who make it possible.”

TOP Grants are administered by the Tennessee State Library & Archives, a division of the Department of State, and supported by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. TOP Grants are available for public libraries to provide digital literacy training to the public, hotpots, solar charging stations, increase internet access at the library and for the Digital Navigators pilot project.

"Tennesseans need power for their electronic devises and access to reliable internet service to complete vital tasks like completing schoolwork and applying for jobs," said Hargett. "These Wi-Fi hotspots and charging stations will help the Martin Public Library meet this need for their patrons. Thank you to Sen. Stevens and Rep. Darby for making this grant possible."

“I’m pleased this grant has been awarded to enhance Wi-Fi access and charging capabilities at Martin Public Library,” said Stevens in a press release. “Libraries are an integral part of our communities and I appreciate the Secretary of State’s office for its support."

This year, more than $349,000 in TOP Grant funding is being awarded to increase access to technology at 50 public libraries across Tennessee.

To learn more about grants for public libraries administered by the Library & Archives, visit sos.tn.gov/tsla.