County awards $80,000 in grants – Libraries, museums receive funds to meet needs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Fourteen organizations will receive more than $80,000 in funding from Shelby County.

Members of the county commission voted unanimously Monday night to award Quality of Life grants totaling some $81,672.

Eleven of the organizations receiving grants are libraries. Others include the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, an Academy of Fine Arts and the Shelby County Historical Society.

The Parnell Memorial Library Foundation will receive $10,000.

According to information provided by county officials, the current collection size at the Montevallo library does not meet the minimum state standards for a city of that size. There is also limited room to expand the collection.

Funds provided by the county will be used to purchase new shelving to house the current collection of 16,755 volumes as well as a 16.25 percent increase which will bring the total number of volumes to 19,476. Total cost of the project is $20,000.

The Pelham Public Library will also receive $10,000 to buy materials to meet the needs of a growing senior population as well as shelving to house those materials.

The library currently has few materials specifically geared to the unique health, recreation and educational needs of senior citizens. Plans include the purchase of 733 books, audiotapes, CDs, DVDs and shelving at a total cost of $20,000.

The North Shelby Library will receive $10,000 as well. Those funds will be used in three areas: reference materials for both children and adults, improving the children’s collection; and additional materials for seniors in both fiction and nonfiction areas. Total cost of the project is $20,000.

The town of Westover’s new library will receive $7,343 for the construction of an additional 144 square feet in the town hall. Funds will include construction of handicap-accessible bathrooms, a utility closet for central heating and air conditioning, a water fountain, a sink and a vending area.

Total cost of the project is $14,746.

The Calera and Helena public libraries will receive $5,000 each.

In Calera, the funds will be used to increase the electronic collection by adding more than 300 resources including CDs, books and DVDs. The $10,000 project will include the purchase of educational, classics, popular and most requested titles.

In Helena, the library has experienced increased demand on its computer equipment. Upgrade and additional materials are needed. The $5,000 grant from the county will be used for four computers, two complete computer systems and a network color printer. Additional upgrades are required for the newly installed T-1 lines.

The Albert L. Scott Library in Alabaster will receive $3,000 toward a total $6,000 project. The current community outreach educational program does not include basic computer classes and training. The funds will be used to buy a laptop computer, a video projector, a mobile screen and items for public access computer classes.

The Wilsonville Public Library also will receive $3,000 to increase the volume number by about 275 new children’s and adult fiction and nonfiction books. The library currently does not meet the state’s minimum standards for a city its size. Total project cost is $6,000.

The Columbiana Public Library will receive $2,000 to increase its juvenile reference collection by 110 books. Total cost of the project is $4,000.

The Lallouise Florey McGraw Vincent Library will receive a $1,500 grant. The library needs elementary and middle school-recommended reading books. Funds will be used to buy about 150 titles to help the library meet state standards. Total cost of the project is $3,000.

The library for the town of Harpersville will also receive a $1,500 grant to be used to purchase a public circulation computer which will provide access to library resources, books and material inventory. Funds will also be used to purchase reference materials including World Book Encyclopedia, Student Discovery, the Encyclopedia of People and Places and other reference books.

The Shelby County Historical Society will receive a $10,000 grant for improvements on displays and collections. Funds will be used to purchase lighting systems, mannequins, Alabama census information from 1830-1880 and research books.

The Academy of Fine Arts, a group organized in Columbiana, also received a $10,000 grant from the county commission. The funds will be used for the design phase of the project which will include developing architectural documents, structural confirmations, general mechanical, electrical and plumbing designs and descriptions.

The group has planned a 12,000-square-foot facility for recitals, theatrical performances and other performing arts activities.

The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum will receive $3,329.99, half of a $6,659.98 project which will center on additional steps needed for easy access and use by the handicapped, seniors and young children.

In addition, funds will be used for a copier, a scanner, a computer monitor and software as well as a video and DVD player for viewing educational films, additional shelving and restoration of five railroad prints