Wayne County Public library has been awarded a $50,000 LSTA EZ Grant to be used for the conversion of a retired Wayne County Emergency Services vehicle into a mobile library. This grant was made possible by funding from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-249980-OLS-21).
Library Director Donna Phillips said, “The library sought funding for this project because we believe all Wayne County citizens deserve to have access to library staff, resources, and services and we are deeply committed to meeting the needs of our community members.” The mobile library, equipped with materials, technology resources, and trained professionals, will deliver a library experience focused on those who experience significant barriers that prevent their access to traditional library services.
County Manager Craig Honeycutt said, “I see this project as a great opportunity to bring together county resources from across departments to better meet the needs of our citizens.”
Maegen Wilson, Assistant Director and Project Manager said, “This project will allow for more impactful library outreach services. Expanding beyond traditional book lending, the mobile library will make use of mobility, staff, and our deep network of community partners and will serve as a mobile community resource center.” The Wi-Fi enabled vehicle will provide wireless internet access across a mixed rural and urban region, helping to bridge Wayne County’s digital divide.
The 2021-2022 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants total over $2 million, and include 47 awards for local library projects that advance excellence and promote equity by strengthening capacity, expanding access, and community engagement in North Carolina’s libraries.