The Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library system received $34,100 in state grant money from the Library Services and Technology Act for improving the East Flagstaff Community Library and the Tuba City Public Library.
The money was presented by Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan at a ceremony in the lobby of the downtown Flagstaff library on Tuesday.
“We are really, really pleased to be able to present this check,” Reagan said. “Were really proud of the work that you’re doing and [the grant money is] going to go a long way.”
Of the grant money, $24,100 will be used to pay for improvements to the East Flagstaff Community Library to create what they are calling "intentional spaces."
Michelle Brosseau, East Flagstaff Library Supervisor, said making intentional spaces will make the library more welcoming to families who want to stay and read in the building. They noticed, Brosseau said, that although many families checked books out of the library, families very rarely stayed to read there.
“We wanted to invite them to stay and enjoy the space so we're creating a children's room,” Brosseau said.
The teens' room will also move and both rooms will have new murals painted on the walls. The new murals are also part of an initiative by the library to make the space better reflect Flagstaff's cultural diversity and especially the nearby Sunnyside neighborhood.
The library will add different kinds of games, books and other hands-on materials for kids.
The other library receiving money is the Tuba City Public Library. The $10,000 grant to that library is going to help fund their community enrichment program. This program provides tutoring and free online classes to those who want to learn but aren't in school, or who just need help with certain subjects.
The program also helps people with finding jobs and improving resumes.
Although the program is set up, the library didn't have enough money to have a staff member available to walk people through the process of taking classes, said Pearl Goldtooth, Tuba City Library Director.
This money will change this, making it far easier for people who don’t know how to take classes online to start.
The money will only allow the library to provide staff support for about a year, however.
Library Services and Technology Act grants are funded by the federal government but given out through the states. In all, the state distributes $800,000 in grants to libraries across Arizona.