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Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Imagination Library program in need of additional funding

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Putnam County Library Board received updates on library activities as well as Imagination Library during the board's monthly meeting on Wednesday evening.

Library Director Alice Greenburg presented an update on the progress of Imagination Library, a program which began this past June.

Greenburg provided the board with goals for the program locally which included impacting the literacy in Putnam County families, providing a personal library of books for each pre-school child, helping prepare children for success when entering kindergarten, and engaging families, care-givers and librarians in fun activities associated with books.

During the first month of Imagination Library 170 children were registered. That number has continued to steadily grow and currently sits at 584 children as of Dec. 1. That means 30 percent of the eligible population is currently enrolled.

"We are way ahead of the Imagination Library projections," Greenburg said.

The Library Board looked at ways in which it could possibly follow the progress of those children included in the program. However, due to privacy laws, that is not possible.

"There's really no way to test to see if it's creating a good environment for those kids," board member Ken Heeke said.

Although, the library has been steadily bringing in funds to support the program, it is still in need of more funding.

"We're not running out of money," Greenburg explained. "It's going to take a steady effort to keep it going."

As it stands now, it costs $25 per year for each child in the program. This cost supports providing a book to a child under the age of five each month.

Currently, $6,045.77 has been raised over the past six months. It is estimated that for the next 12 months it will cost between $13,000 and $14,600 or the program.

Several major donations have come in through a Foundation grant and Friends of the Library, as well as various groups and individuals totaling $13,845.

The Friends of the Library committee is planning several events to not only raise awareness but also funding. Possibilities include a series of "awareness sessions" focusing on the program, increasing programming through volunteers, and talking with service organizations about budgeting for annual donations.

Greenburg also updated the board on the status of the e-books project. During the November board meeting it was discussed that e-books would be up and running within the next month.

However, due to technical difficulties, the date has yet to be determined.

"As of Friday, there are still technical difficulties, especially with the integration of Polaris," Greenburg said. "I talked with Baker and Taylor staff by phone on Friday morning in an effort to resolve the issues."

Library staff was trained on the new product on Nov. 28 and the library is hoping to get e-books fully operational soon.



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