Green Bank library receives grant to expand community services

Green Bank branch librarian Hallie Herold is excited about a new grant recently awarded to the library.

“Yeah, I’m thrilled!” she said. “We were awarded the Libraries Transforming Communities Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grant, which is an initiative of the American Library Association in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries.   What this grant does is it provides the tools and training to library staff to facilitate community conversations to assess and address community need.”

That’s the official description – Hallie explains what it actually means for the Green Bank library.

“What we want to do with this grant is improve our outdoor space.  Our entire grounds are beautiful, but our backyard has a covered porch, a spacious yard, a beautiful view of the Green Bank Telescope and it’s just not used here.  And so, I’m hoping to really make it more enticing and inviting to our patrons.”

Hallie says the idea behind this grant is to get the conversation started about how to use the space.

“What we are going to do is host a conversation and invite all interested parties to come to the library, explore our space and just kinda brainstorm, talk about different ideas.  I am interested in seeing what kind of feedback we get; hopefully this will kind of kickstart a larger project where maybe we will include furniture, events, you just kind of see where that can go.

I would love to see it become normal behavior for our patrons to come in and grab a magazine and go sit on a porch swing or meet a friend for lunch out back or a group to meet back there.  Maybe we could host some events; I don’t know, the opportunities are endless!”

She said COVID relief funding was one of the inspirations for this project; specifically, how to create more outdoor spaces for library patrons to enjoy.

“One thing that we know for sure that we’re going to do with the grant was to go ahead and purchase materials to create a moveable computer station so that we can provide internet access on our back porch.”

During the pandemic when the Pocahontas County library buildings were closed, they were still able to provide wi-fi access in their parking lots.  But that’s not really an option in Green Bank due to the proximity of the Green Bank Observatory.

“We don’t have wi-fi here so that was not an option.  So that’s the first step of this process is that we’re going to get the materials and just kinda see how popular that is, see if people are interested in sitting out back and using a computer; so there might be potential to expand that service.”

The conversation about the Green Bank library outdoor space will be Wednesday, June 30th at 6pm.  Light refreshments will be served and anyone who is interested is invited to come, tour the space and offer ideas.   If you can’t make it to the meeting, there will also be an opportunity to fill out an online-survey.  Paper copies of the survey will also be available at the library.  Hallie anticipates that survey will be available by June 23rd.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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