Saturday, July 16, 2005

District awarded grant to update libraries

Library buildings at Konocti Unified school sites will be filled with new books as well as with state-of-the-art network equipment that links them with larger facilities.

The school board officially acted on Wednesday, July 13 to accept an "Improving Literacy Through School Libraries" grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The funding application had been prepared earlier this year by grant writer Karen MacDougall.

"This is marvelous," said Curriculum Coordinator Monte Gregg. "I'm so excited."

Konocti received the full amount it had asked for, $335,120. Gregg reported that grant allocations ranged from $90,000 to $350,000. The average grant awarded was $190,000.

"This grant is a one year grant and will provide staff development training for library techs, books for students, professional development and equipment at each site, such as video conferencing equipment. The grant is primarily aimed at K-3 but was written in such a way as to incorporate all district sites."

The "Konocti Read and Link for Lifelong Learning" project will increase library collections by 6,000 shelf-ready books. It will also create an online network that links local, state and national libraries, tieing individual sites into one "virtual library " with online access from classrooms and children's homes.

Sound-proof study rooms are also in the works, equipped with adaptive technology. And the grant will also fund a state-certified library media specialist who will be available through a partnership to the county and neighboring districts.

Board members were unanimous in their acceptance of this grant and in a desire to show appreciation for MacDougall's grant-writing efforts. Watch for it to appear under board "Recognitions" on an upcoming agenda.