Board accepts one donation, two grants for city’s library

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By Bill Short

The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen has adopted separate resolutions to accept one donation and two grants on behalf of the city’s public library.
Board members took the actions at their regular monthly meetings during the past three months.
At its Feb. 8 meeting, on a motion offered by Alderman Al Bell and seconded by Alderman Larry Dagen, the board voted to accept a $10,000 donation from the Canadian National Railway Co.
The motion was passed by six affirmative votes, with Alderman Don Lowry absent.
During discussion shortly before the vote, City Finance Director John Trusty said CNR had originally planned to tour the country in 2020 with a “special train” that featured certain exhibits.
“I think it was going to make these donations to the libraries where it did that,” he noted. “But because of COVID-19, it was unable to do that. It just sent us the donation anyway.”
In response to a question by Alderman Mike Caruthers, Trusty said there are no “strings” attached to the donation.
At its Dec. 14, 2020 meeting, on a motion offered by Alderman Thomas McGhee and seconded by Lowry, the board unanimously adopted a resolution to accept a $4,800 grant from International Paper.
The grant will fund the entire cost of the library’s proposed Little Literacy Lab, a project to address literacy by starting with the city’s pre-kindergarten population.
On a separate motion offered by Dagen and seconded by Lowry, the board voted unanimously to accept a $6,963 grant from the state of Tennessee.
The library applied for a grant from the Tennessee State Library and Archives, which is a part of the Secretary of State’s Office.
The grant will fund:
(1) 50 percent of the proposed cost of the computers for use by library patrons and staff;
(2) management software for increased efficiency in access to library collections and services;
(3) networking hardware, software for library use, mobile and peripheral devices; and/or
(4) other technological items and supplies to enhance the use of technology services available at the library.
While noting that this is a 50-50 matching grant, Trusty said he believes it is “the first one like this” that the city’s library has ever received.
He said $5,000 of the required local matching funds will come from the Library Boosters’ bank account. And the remaining $1,963 will come out of the $5,500 that the city annually appropriates for the Boosters.
The resolutions state that the city supports the library’s computer improvements, as well as the proposed Little Literacy Lab, and authorizes expenditures as detailed in the grant request budget.
They note that a separate account in the library budget of the city’s General Fund will account for these expenditures.