SPINDALE — The Rutherford County Library System has been awarded a $23,193 grant to purchase new public computer workstations to address the digital needs of all Rutherford County residents.

Funding for the new equipment was supported by grant proceeds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

These federal funds are investments that help libraries deliver relevant and up-to-date services for their communities. At Rutherford County Library System, the LSTA grant will allow the library to purchase 18 desktops and nine laptop computers to be spread among the county, Haynes and Mountains libraries.

“We are thrilled to receive these funds as they will allow us to provide brand new computer workstations in all three of our locations, which is something we haven’t been able to do in close to 10 years,” said April Young, library director.

In discussing the need for new computers, Library IT Specialist Kenneth Odom said, “The most significant problem with our current public workstations is that they are all running the unsupported Windows 7 operating system, and are therefore vulnerable to security and privacy concerns. Providing our community with equipment running Windows 10 will provide better protection from such exploits and allow the library to provide training on how to use Windows 10, as well as other modern software that builds on the Windows 10 platform.”

Rutherford County Library System received one of the 47 competitive grants for fiscal year 2021-2022 awarded to North Carolina libraries from this year’s federal allotment of slightly more than $4.8 million. The LSTA grant program administered by the State Library of North Carolina funds library projects across the state that advance excellence and promote equity by strengthening capacity, expanding access, and community engagement among the state’s libraries.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. Through the LSTA Grants to States program IMLS provides funds to State Library agencies using a population-based formula. State libraries may use the appropriation to support statewide initiatives and services; they may also distribute the funds through competitive subgrants to public and academic libraries. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.

For more information about North Carolina’s LSTA program visit the State Library of North Carolina’s LSTA web page at https://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/services-libraries/grants-libraries/lsta-grant-information or contact the State Library’s Federal Programs Consultant at 919-814-6796.