Library announces summer reading plans, grant funding

MONTEVALLO – The Parnell Memorial Library is open for curbside service and is operating its summer reading program digitally this year.

People of all ages can participate in the summer reading program by reading books, participating in activities and then tracking their progress on the Beanstack website or app to unlock badges, win prizes and enter to win the grand prize drawing.

Register online at Parnellmemoriallibrary.beanstack.org or download the Beanstack app, which is available for iOS and Android.

Parents can also create Beanstack accounts for their children.

The program allows participants to view available activities, enter the books they have read and write book reviews.

Beanstack will automatically direct participants to the appropriate activities based on their ages. The three age groups are: kids, teens and adults.

To be contacted about prizes and drawings, include an email address or telephone number as part of your Beanstack profile.

The library’s curbside service continues as a precautionary measure to keep staff and patrons safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patrons may check out items by calling the library at (205) 665-2555.

The limit is five items per check-out.

Patrons should call (205) 665-2555 ext. 1000 when they arrive at the library, and staff will place items in a bag with the patron’s name on it on the table under the awning for a no-contact delivery.

Patrons are asked to remain in their cars until staff members are back in the building.

To minimize contact, all items should be returned to the library book drop, located to the right of the front door.

For copies, faxes and printouts, email files to parnelllibrary@shelbycounty-al.org with “Library Printing” in the subject line.

Staff will bring out materials in a folder with the patron’s name on it and place them on the table under the awning.

These services are currently offered free of charge.

The library’s current hours of operating are: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 4-8 p.m. Thursday.

In other news, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded the library a $3,000 grant to support early literacy.

Parnell Memorial Library is one of only 10 libraries in Alabama, and about 100 libraries in the nation, to receive the grant.

“This good news could not have come at a better time,” Library Director Savannah Kitchens wrote in a press release. “As we work hard to provide library service in a safe and smart way, this funding will help us expand what we can offer to our patrons. We are so grateful for this opportunity.”

Starting in mid-June, the library will have Family Literacy Kits available for families to check out.

Designed for various age levels, the kits include a hands-on activity, books and parent resources.

Funds from the grant also will be used to create a reading disability resource collection.

“During these extraordinary times, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation remains steadfast in its commitment to support communities’ literacy and educational advancements through funds that will impact thousands of students across the country,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO and Dollar General Literacy Foundation board member. “We are proud to support the meaningful and impactful work that each of today’s recipients conduct and support their ongoing efforts to help individuals improve their lives through literacy and education.”

Parnell Memorial Library staff members also have been busy sewing face masks to give to Montevallo residents for free.

Made with donated materials, the masks are washable and reusable.

“We are so happy that there is something we can do to help keep our patrons and our community safe,” Kitchens wrote.

Supplies are limited, and the library is accepting donations of cotton fabric, thread and elastic.

Call the library at (205) 665-2555 ext. 1000, or message on Facebook, for requests.