MILFORD — Milford Public Library has received a grant for $10,000 to rework its layout to better serve its patrons in a post-pandemic world. In an effort to make the library welcoming and comfortable to all, new computers and furniture have been purchased.
Instead of having desktop public access computers, laptops will be available to use on the adult floor of the library, thus allowing patrons the opportunity to social distance while using the library’s internet service.
The laptops will be kept in a locked docking station behind the main desk. Patrons who wish to use one just need to simply request one.
New furniture, which includes a love seat and chairs patrons can curl up in along with a cafe table and chairs, has also been purchased to create a better seating environment so patrons will be able to more easily self distance from others using the library.
The furniture is designed to be easily cleaned and sanitized and created for comfort, as well as equipped with built-in charging stations for patrons to use when charging their devices.
Julia Frew, director of the library, explained the furniture on the main floor will be rearranged, with some being weeded out including the tables the desktop computers were on. The oldest equipment will be removed while equipment the library already has will be incorporated in different ways. Once things are settled, the board will make a decision as to what to do with the furniture and equipment no longer be used by the library.
The library currently has the furniture, but some of those need to be assembled. Frew said everything will be out sometime in April.
“We are very excited about receiving this grant! The money gives us a chance to respond to the social and physical changes COVID-19 has brought without putting any stress on our general budget and our taxpayers. We can make sure our patrons are as safe and comfortable as possible while using the library,” said Frew.
This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act, administered by the Indiana State Library. Frew explained the grant is a reimbursement grant. “The grant money has helped us out a lot. We just don’t have the funds in the budget to do this in one year,” Frew explained. She applied for the grant last year, then decided to place the order for the new furniture and computers after the first of the year. She hopes to get reimbursed shortly as the deadline to spend the grant funds is July.
“We’re just delighted. That’s the full grant and we were able to purchase everything we wanted,” she said. “We’re excited about making these changes.”
The grant money also helped in the purchase of sanitizer dispensers at every entrance and the children’s department, as well as sneeze guards that can go on the round tables so more people can safely sit and work.
While the inside will get an upgrade, Frew also hopes to do work on the outside such as doing much needed painting.