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Library Receives ARC Grant

The Adams County Public Library has been awarded a grant for $248,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission to renew and replace outdated technology in county’s four library locations. The Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission approved the library’s project proposal, and submitted it for consideration by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency, partnering federal funds with local government to help encourage community capacity and economic growth in rural communities. Each year, the ARC funds projects in rural counties to support economic development and other critical projects affecting local government entities and nonprofit organizations. This will not be the first ARC grant awarded to Adams County. In 2017, the Ohio Valley School District was awarded an ARC Grant to fund the purchase of Chromebooks for students enrolled in member schools.

Each month, the Adams County Public Library provides over 3,400 public computer sessions, and over 9,000 wireless Internet sessions, to Adams County community members. These services are provided free of charge, and our community also benefits from low-cost services like printing, copying, scanning, and faxing at the library. The library’s staff provide one-on-one computer training and technology help sessions, both on-demand and by scheduled appointment. These services are used by many community members seeking employment, working to improve their job skills through adult education, and completing essential personal tasks or accessing small business resources online. The award from the Appalachian Regional Commission will enable the library to replace aging computers and software currently used by library patrons and staff, increase capacity to meet demand, and add new free technology services.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have received this award,” says Phil Rhonemus, President of the Library Board of Trustees. “It will enable the library to be on the cutting edge of technology.” The grant proposal was submitted by outgoing Access Services Coordinator Jessica Dooley, who leaves the Adams County Public Library this month to accept a new role with OPLIN, a nonprofit agency that provides Internet access to all Ohio public libraries. “I couldn’t be more pleased that the library has received this award,” Jessica said. “The funding is truly needed, and will enable the library to offer up-to-date technology and software at all four libraries, available to anyone in the community to use.” During the Adams County Public Library’s history, the library has received grant funding to support each generation of library computers, enabling Adams County’s libraries to provide free public access to much-needed technology services. Library Executive Director Nick Slone said “The library is considered a nonprofit, but our true profit is the education, enrichment, and empowerment of the residents of Adams County.”

Joshua Brown, formerly Team Leader of the North Adams Public Library, has accepted a promotion to Access Services Coordinator. As Josh takes on responsibility for the library’s digital and technology services, he will be available to help answer computer questions, and will be working with Executive Director Nick Slone to execute the technology renewal project funded by the ARC Grant. Jessica said “I’m so pleased for Josh to take on this role. He’ll do a fantastic job. I’ve so enjoyed supporting the library’s technology needs during the last 8 years, and I’m excited to see how the library and the community benefits from the new equipment this grant will provide.”