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Library awarded grant to improve services

Photo by Donna Campbell/Katrina Castilaw, assistant director of the Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library, sorts through medical books at the Brookhaven branch, which also serves at the library headquarters. The library system recently was awarded $27,420 in grants and some of the money will be used to upgrade their medical resources.

Photo by Donna Campbell/Katrina Castilaw, assistant director of the Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library, sorts through medical books at the Brookhaven branch, which also serves at the library headquarters. The library system recently was awarded $27,420 in grants and some of the money will be used to upgrade their medical resources.

The Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library recently received a grant of more than $27,000 which will be used to improve services for patrons of the library’s branches in Brookhaven, Monticello, Meadville and New Hebron.

The funds come from five grants through the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Library Services and Technology Act and will be used to improve library services, said Library Assistant Director Katrina Castilaw.

The library’s website will be completely revamped for content, accessibility compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and mobile capability — all designed to improve the community’s knowledge of and access to library resources, she said.

The library’s collection of medical resources will be updated and expanded to assist patrons in making more educated decisions about their personal and family health care.

TV projection systems will be placed throughout the library so that patrons are better informed about library and community services and events, she said. Two screens will be stationary above the circulation desk and will scroll information about upcoming events and programs at the library as well as in the community, Castilaw said. Another monitor will be mobile and can be used throughout the library wherever it’s needed for meetings and programs.

Staff equipment will be updated to improve work efficiency, and professional training will be provided to library staff with an emphasis on new technologies. With the additional training and equipment, staff members will be able to assist patrons with various types of eBook readers and other electronic devices.

The grants come at a good time, since about $25,000 in state funds was cut from the library’s budget.

Castilaw said the library is learning to make do with less. “We’ve been told to expect more cuts,” she said.

Library Director Henry Ledet said the system’s infrastructure is in good shape and he doesn’t anticipate any major upcoming expenses like computers or building projects. “We’re hoping we don’t have to cut the book budget,” he said. “We won’t in the coming year, but after that, I can make no promises.”

The library system operates with about a $925,000 yearly budget, Ledet said. In years past, the budget has been around $1 million.