G.R. Little Library director, Dr. Juanita Midgette Spence, right, and music librarian, Nurhak Tuncer, display some of the items purchased with a recent grant. The library is preparing for a fall 2021 reopening.
Elizabeth City State University’s G.R. Little Library has received funding to help prepare to reopen to the public and adapt services to reduce the impact of COVID-19.
According to ECSU’s director of library services, Dr. Juanita Midgette Spence, the State Library of North Carolina (SLNC) provided $2,000 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to help libraries prepare to reopen to the public.
Dr. Spence says that this grant program supports Goal One of the LSTA North Carolina’s Five-Year Plan: Strengthening Capacity. The G.R. Little Library staff will use this grant money to purchase supplies for cleaning and sanitizing the building. They will also purchase “digital inclusion” supplies such as tablet, giving library staff the ability to provide better services to library users.
“The cleaning materials will enable the library staff to keep the highly utilized surfaces sanitized,” said Dr. Spence. “As part of the digital inclusion materials, the tablets will help librarians give library users needed information on the spot if needed. The tablets could also be checked out to students on a demand basis for classroom video conferencing.”
In addition to classroom video conferencing, Dr. Spence says the tablets can also be used for downloading library e-books and other materials such as electronic newspapers.
“The library’s goal is to create a more user-centric experience and meet the demand of library users towards digital inclusion,” said Dr. Spence. “We hope to achieve this goal with this LSTA mini-grant before reopening the main library to the public.”
After sending the application to the grant agency under the initiative of Dr. Spence and ECSU librarian Nurhak Tuncer and the entire library team, ECSU received notice of the grant award. Dr. Spence said receiving this mini-grant was a university-wide team effort.
“The ECSU director of Sponsored Programs, Contracts & Grants, Annemarie Delgado, and her staff helped tremendously with the grant writing process during the submission, receiving, and implementation stages. The Office of Information Technology also assisted in the inspection of the items that are acquired,” said Dr. Spence.
The G.R. Little Library has been undergoing upgrades to its HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems. During repairs to the building, the library staff operated from the Gilchrist Complex and recently began returning to the G.R. Little building.
Thanks to a $200,000 grant from The Cannon Foundation, announced in fall 2020, new library furnishings and lounge stations have been installed in preparation for a full opening in fall 2021 semester.