Whitesburg KY

Fleming-Neon Library receives $30,000 grant

The Fleming-Neon Public Library, which opened its new facility in July, is the recipient of a $30,000 grant from the Steele Reese Foundation to establish a computer station in the library. The library has purchased 10 PC computers and two AWE touch screen computers for children. Included in the funding request are computer carrels and a charging desk where library patrons can charge laptops, iPads, tablets and phones.

“This is a tremendous plus to the library and the community,” said Lina Tidal, Director of Letcher County Libraries. “The fund has made it possible for us to replace our aging and outdated computers. In addition, most of our patrons can utilize any of the computers and not wait for a long time to take their turn. In the summer, when school is out, many of the children and teens have no access to computers except the library. The computer station will host monthly computer workshops and will also introduce the databases for access to job openings and to Affordable Health Care which is now in full swing.”

The Steele Reese Foundation is a charitable trust committed to supporting rural communities and the nonprofit organizations that serve them in Idaho, Montana and Appalachian Kentucky. Eleanor Steele Reese, daughter of Charles Steele — a banker, lawyer and business association of J.P. Morgan, created the Steele Reese Foundation in 1955. The foundation’s name honors her family as well as the family of her husband, Emmet Reese.

The couple were cattle ranchers in Idaho and created the foundation as a lasting commitment to their rural values.

The foundation supports nonprofit organizations working in the areas of rural education, health, human/social services, the arts and humanities, and land, water and wildlife conservation and historic preservation.

In addition to the new computers, the Fleming- Neon Library has received $1,050 for new children’s books from the Libri Foundation. The Libri Foundation helps rural libraries acquire new, quality children’s book to be used for storytelling, toddler, preschool, afternoon, and summer reading programs. Jenay Hall, head librarian of the Fleming-Neon Library, explained that “all of the books we have acquired through the foundation have been utilized and borrowed extensively by our patrons and they keep coming back for more books. My storytelling programs have been enhanced and increased by attendance by 50 percent with the introduction of these wonderful resources.”

The Fleming-Neon Public Library computer station will offer monthly classes to adults on basic computers, the Internet, eBay, Facebook, Word, Power Point and databases beginning in November. A dedication of the computer station will be held at 11 a.m. on Oct. 18. The public is invited. For more information, call the Harry M. Caudill Memorial Library at (606) 633-7547 or the Fleming-Neon Library at 855-7513.

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