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Hargett presents grant to Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library

Secretary of State Tre Hargett and local legislators, Sen. Rusty Crowe and Rep. John B. Holsclaw Jr., presented a grant to the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library on Thursday.
The grant presentation was for the Library Services and Technology Act Grant, LTSA. This grant is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and is a federal program to expand services for learning about, and access to, information resources in libraries. 
The LSTA grant provides resources for public, school, academic, and special libraries. The grant is a matching grant, with the state providing half of the funds.
According to Bernedette Weese, director of the library, on Sept. 9, they were awarded $4,244. This was matched, meaning they have a total of $8,488 to spend on new technology for the library. 
“Applying for, and receiving, these funds every year helps the library purchase and upgrade a variety of different technologies within the building,” she said. 
With these matching funds, the library can further expand into new technology. Weese said the library will purchase AWE children’s learning stations, a new scanner, a 3D printer to begin a library makerspace, a sound system for the meeting room, and new computer monitors.  
“With newer technology, the library can develop better services for our community, which allows us to facilitate research, education, and innovation. These funds also allow the library to promote literacy and lifelong learning,” she said. 
During the presentation, Weese was given a large check. Hargett, Crowe and Holsclaw all spoke. 
Crowe spoke on how much behind the scenes work goes into the Secretary of State’s position, expressing gratitude for Hargett’s attendance, while reiterating this grant’s importance for the library. 
“We’re really proud that he cares especially about our libraries,” said Crowe.  “People don’t realize how much they do. This is so important because it’s easy for people to forget about the libraries and how important this is, especially for our kids, and that’s what this is all about.”
Hargett praised the library for their work and the community’s work as a whole.
“I appreciate you all. This is just your money coming back here,” said Hargett. “Congratulations. I know you will put this to good use.”
In addition to the Elizabethton/Carter County Library, Hargett traveled to several other East Tennessee libraries, which included: Stokely Memorial Library & Parrottsville Community Library; Greene County Public Library;  and Unicoi County Public Library.