September 30, 2014

Arenac libraries using grant money for improvements

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ARENAC COUNTY — Arenac County’s three libraries within the Iosco-Arenac District Library are each scheduled to undergo some improvements this year, with the assistance of grant money from the district library.

According to Iosco-Arenac District Library Director Stephanie Olson, the district library has administered grants of $20,000 apiece to each of the district’s eight libraries. She said the projects have been going on since the beginning of the year, and will continue to the end of this year.

“What is not spent goes back in the coffers,” she said. “We’ve been working on this since the beginning of the year. Some of these are done, some of them are a work in progress.”

The three Arenac County libraries are: AuGres Community Library, 230 N. Mackinaw, AuGres; Mary Johnston Memorial Library, 114 N. Grant, Standish; and Omer Library, 205 E. Center, Omer.

Olsen said the district library does not manage the individual branches, and added that representatives of each of the district libraries are determining how to use their respective grant monies.

“There are things that the district does not do for the branch library,” she said. “We’re using penal fine money for this.”

Olsen said the aim of the grant money is to upgrade each of the branches so that they can provide better customer service. She also said that some of the district’s libraries need energy efficiency work, while others have new computer desks that allow for its individual computes to be wired in more efficiently.

Phyllis Klender, a member of the Friends of the Mary Johnston Memorial Library, said that organization is using the grant money to help purchase new computer stations for the library’s eight computers. In addition, she said the Friends intend to purchase some flat wall shelving for display purposes, and added that they have moved several books around to create a whole new section of books.

Klender also said the Friends have some grant money left over, which they intend to use to purchase some new flooring for the library’s bathroom.

Charmaine Ploof, librarian for the Omer Library, said its grant money is being used to purchase new chairs, new desks, and a new computer library. Ploof said all of these items are intended to benefit the new Omer library, which she expects to be completed by the first half of November.

“It’s all but done,” she said of construction on the new library.

Robin Berry, a member of the Omer Library Board, said the new library is almost complete, and expects that it would be ready to go by Dec. 1.

“We ordered some shelving and we’re waiting for it to come in,” he said.

He said the new library would be attached to the current Omer City Hall, adding that almost all of the funding for the library has come from the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council.

Linda Kauffman, librarian for the AuGres Community Library, said her library used its grant money for purchasing a couple of new chairs and a sofa for library patrons. She also said the library has purchased a couple of magazine racks and a couple of new computer stations, as well as a couple of slatted ends to be used to help display books.

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