Troy-Miami County Public Library receiving federal funds for outreach projects

For the Miami Valley Today

TROY — The Troy-Miami County Public Library will be receiving $99,699 in federal funds to facilitate its outreach efforts.

Projects funded included a mobile laptop lab and two book lockers, which will be located in the lobbies of the Robinson Branch of the YMCA, 3060 S. County Road 25-A, Troy, and the Elizabeth Township Community Center, 5760 E. Walnut Grove Road, Troy.

“I’m thrilled the State Library Board saw the need and voted to approve our grant,” said Rachelle Via, executive director of Troy-Miami County Public Library. “The book lockers will allow residents in Miami East and southern Concord Township to have easier access to books and materials they reserve from the library. And since we do not have space in our building for a computer lab, we will be able to use the laptops for in-house programs or take it on the road for programming elsewhere.”

The funds were made available by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Outreach Grant Initiative. Utilizing Federal ARPA funds received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the State Library of Ohio encouraged Ohio libraries of all types to apply for this competitive grant program.

Book lockers are a simple concept, providing convenient access to library collections, holds, or returns at locations other than the library building. Library patrons can reserve library materials through the online catalog on their computer or smart phone and can choose the remote locker as the pickup location. They are notified by email, phone call, or text when the item is available at the locker. This is also a convenient option for people who prefer a completely contact-free book pick-up and return option.

The lockers the library hopes to purchase would also have a browsing tower, which would allow patrons to browse available books and check one out on the spot.

“We feel the Robinson Branch is the perfect location for this location,” said Donn Craig, branch director. “Over the course of the year, the Robinson Branch records 500,000 visits from members and guests of all ages. The book locker location will be accessible to anyone in our community. The Miami County YMCA is excited to be included in the Troy-Miami County Public Library’s outreach efforts.”

The mobile laptop lab will be used to provide programming that the library is asked for frequently but has not been able to provide often due to space constraints, Via said.

“We are currently hiring a technology trainer, and this person will be able to use the lab for hands-on training on basic computer classes, job searching classes, and use of our e-resources. And our Local History staff is excited to do some genealogy classes, which we know will be popular,” Via said. She hopes to have the equipment available by early 2022.