By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Millington Board of Aldermen, Mayor Terry Jones, City Manager Ed Haley and other community leaders joined Millington Public Library Director Stephanie Kinsler for a special presentation Friday morning.
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett arrived to 4558 Navy Road with a pair of oversized checks in hand. One board read CARES Act for $744 for the Millington Public Library. The other check came courtesy of the State of Tennessee for $6,963.
“This is not only almost $7,000 from the state,” Kinsler said. “This check is going to be match. It’s a match-grant and it’s almost $14,000 we’re getting for a tech lab in this room over here. We want to prepare people to go out in the workplace teaching them how to use Power-point, Excel, Word. People need the most basic skills and will learn them here like how to email, apply for jobs.”
The MPL Boosters and Board agreed to match the Tennessee Technology Grant helping the facility with resources to assist the public.
“The library is more relevant than ever,” Kinsler said. “ We do all sorts things besides having great book collections. We have the popular fiction over there. We have the newest and most awesome children’s collection. We have a six-week summer reading program that we saw an increase of 250 more books. That’s a growing program and obviously we represent literacy. We also do printing and faxing.”
Hargett, a native of Ripley, was glad to be back in West Tennessee to see firsthand the work in Nashville benefiting Tennesseans.
“It’s good to be back in Shelby County,” he said. “I always look forward to my opportunity to come back and share. We had a presentation back here earlier this morning in Memphis. And now to be back here in Millington and help them better prepare the technology.
“We take for granted a lot of the time people at home might not have a computer or the Internet,” Hargett continued. “The library is the only computer they have access to or Internet sometimes. This is a critical piece to help people stay connected and look for jobs. In same cases to file for unemployment, disaster relief. The library is real important to all of us. And we want to play a part in that.”
The Millington Public Library is a resource center for residents helping people with state unemployment and voter registration. There is even a United Way program set up during tax season to help residents with preparation. Kinsler and MPL’s Sara Mautino said the grant will assist with laptops, workplace classes, resume’ writing and hopefully down the road getting funding for a regular technology teacher.
“Millington is on the grow,” Mayor Jones said. “With the things going on in our country right now especially with the kids having to do virtual everything, this will give them an opportunity to put in more of the things we need like computers for the parents and families. This will be able to help them communicate and get their work done for school. This is just a blessing to be able to come here to help with a grant that big for a school community.”
Jones said Friday was beneficial for the Library financially and also gave a spotlight to the hard work being down there.
“Stephanie and her group here are going a good job,” he concluded. “Our library here has been a staple of our community for a long time. They’ve put in the hours and done everything they can to help the community out. Her staff has done a great job and we appreciate everything they’ve done.”