Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Tuscaloosa Public Library Will Expand Services with Grant Money

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Tuscaloosa Public Library Will Expand Services with Grant Money

Article excerpt

TUSCALOOSA | The Tuscaloosa Public Library has been bringing home awards that have the potential for long-term, positive effects.

The three grants come with a total of $9,500, a small amount compared to the overall library operating budget of about $3.5 million, but enough to fund some new programs and help stretch a tight budget.

"The grants are allowing us to provide services and programs that the public has expressed an interest in," said Mary Elizabeth Harper, executive director of the library.

The Public Library Association announced last month that the Tuscaloosa Public Library had been awarded the Baker & Taylor Audio Music/Video Entertainment Product Award and the Romance Writers of America Library Grant.

The $2,500 from the Baker & Taylor Award will help expand the bluegrass and folk music holdings at the library.

"Some of our staff were doing an inventory in the music section and saw that there were almost no bluegrass and folk music CDs on the shelves," said Vince Bellofatto, public relations coordinator for the library. "They thought we didn't have any, but it turned out to be that most of the collection was checked out. Obviously, it's very popular so we are adding to that."

The Romance Writers Grant of $4,500 will beef up the widely read selection of romance novels. The library expects to purchase paper copies and electronic versions of that genre of books.

Public Library Association president Marcia Warner said the selection committees for the grants are comprised of librarians from across the country who are dedicated to honoring exemplary programs.

"PLA and our award sponsors value the opportunity to highlight and reward the efforts that libraries make to serve their communities, and the Tuscaloosa Public Library is a great example," Warner wrote in an email. "The work of director Mary Elizabeth Harper and staff to provide for their patrons and expand the library's resources, particularly in the wake of last year's tornado, is inspiring. …

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