March 23, 2022

Duke Energy provides grant to library system

The Duke Energy Foundation recently awarded a grant to the Rutherford County Library Society to support the county’s new bookmobile project. The $4,000 donation will be used by the library society to purchase books, circulating activity kits, and materials for program presentations that focus on STEM skills and content knowledge. These materials will be housed on the bookmobile, a vehicle currently being custom-built for the county library system.

The Duke Energy Foundation focuses on helping strengthen and uplift communities throughout North Carolina with grant funding highlighting vibrant economies, climate resiliency, and justice, equity and inclusion. The Rutherford County Library Society is a local non-profit friend’s organization that supports the library with materials and programming.

Craig DeBrew, local government and community relations manager with Duke Energy, stopped by the county library in Spindale and presented a check to April Young, library director.

“We couldn’t be happier to work with generous partners like Duke Energy, Broad River Water Authority, RHI Legacy Foundation, and the Hickory Nut Gorge Foundation to bring a bookmobile back to Rutherford County,” Young said. “These partnerships allow us to add new materials and programming to our library’s menu of services, which in turn expands the library’s reach in the community. Ultimately, the residents of Rutherford County are the direct beneficiaries of the library’s partnerships.”

Rutherford County had an operational bookmobile for nearly 60 years, from 1938 until the mid-1990s, when it was discontinued mainly due to funding and issues with ADA compliance. By the end of its run in 1996, the Rutherford County Bookmobile had 27 regular stops, mainly in the Hollis, Sunshine, and Golden Valley areas of the county, communities that are a distance from a physical library location. The new bookmobile will allow users to get free library cards, check out books and DVD’s, freely connect to the bookmobile as a Wi-Fi hotspot, use a laptop and print or copy documents, and participate in pop-up programming, such as cooking demonstrations and children’s events.

The bookmobile project is supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal 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-250229-OLS-21).

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