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Grant will improve library services, hours

 

Submitted The gift of knowledge: Pearl River County Library System director Carol Phares, left, accepts a grant check from Dr. Ted Alexander, CEO of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation, and Stacy Wilkes, president of the Rotary Club of Poplarville. With them are EDC Educational Services consultants Kay and Bob Rhett and Cynthia Hornsby of the Poplarville Library.

Submitted
The gift of knowledge: Pearl River County Library System director Carol Phares, left, accepts a grant check from Dr. Ted Alexander, CEO of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation, and Stacy Wilkes, president of the Rotary Club of Poplarville. With them are EDC Educational Services consultants Kay and Bob Rhett and Cynthia Hornsby of the Poplarville Library.

 

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A grant of more than $20,000 will allow the Pearl River County Library System to improve its children’s collection and keep the libraries in Picayune and Poplarville open for more hours.

The Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation approved $15,305 for the system at its December board meeting to go with $5,000 from the Rotary Club of Poplarville and matching funds from the book supplier, Usborne Books.

“The library system, because of deep cuts from the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors, has lost, through attrition, a number of employees who have not been replaced,” said director Carol Phares. “This grant will allow one more person to be added to the staff so that the libraries can return to their normal operating hours.”

The funding will allow the libraries to be open longer in the afternoons when children are out of school, she said.

“The book budget has also taken a beating due to these cuts and the library system has had to rely on the generosity of the public for donations of books and money,” Phares said. “The donation from the three organizations will give the children’s collections new and updated books for the children to use for recreational reading as well as school work.”

The purchase of additional children’s material is matched by EDC Educational Services, home of Usborne Books, represented by consultants Bob and Kay Rhett of Canton.

They match 50 percent of the grant with free shipping,” Kay Rhett said.

The new materials should be received and on the shelves by March, Phares said.

“The Rotary Club of Poplarville and the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation, in concert with Bob and Kay Rhett with EDC Educational Services, have made it possible for us to provide significant resources for our libraries and will assist with additional staff to provide more access for library services for children and adults,” said Dr. Ted Alexander, chief executive officer of the foundation and member of the Rotary Club.