Mabel C Fry Public Library awarded $20,000 HOPE Grant
In April, the Mabel C. Fry Public Library received $20,000 from Oklahoma Humanities. Oklahoma Humanities announced over $400,000 in immediate emergency grant funding for cultural organizations statewide. The Oklahoma Humanities Organizations Pandemic Emergency Grants (or H.O.P.E. Grants) were intended to be used for emergency general operating support and staff retention in the humanities and cultural sectors.
Grant awards ranged from $5,000 to $25,000. The H.O.P.E. Grants initiative funding was made available by the $2.2 trillion CARES Act economic stabilization plan signed into law on March 27, 2020. The library was one of 35 organizations in the state chosen to receive grant funding with only five of the organizations selected being libraries.
Prior to closing in March, planning for a traditional in-person summer reading program for all children had been completed. The library’s request for grant funding was to pay for a staff member to totally redesign this program into a virtual program, purchase equipment to facilitate that programming and pay for presenters and programmers to supplement staff programming.
Summer Reading 2020, Imagine Your Story, kicked off as originally planned on June 1. While digital programming is new for the library, the response has been positive so far. Over 170 community youth are registered for the library’s new online reading logs. Live and pre-recorded video content is being produced to fill the void of the traditional summer reading presentations. These videos, which are posted on the library’s new Facebook page, have a total of over 550 views to date.
In addition, the new program model allowed for the completion of a previously awarded grant. A Health Literacy Grant was awarded in the fall of 2019 to provided healthy living programs to adults in Canadian County. The schedule of programing was interrupted in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The programs that were originally scheduled to be completed before Memorial Day were able to be resumed with the help of the technology purchased with H.O.P.E. Grant funds. Currently, the library is hosting a weekly step aerobics class on Wednesdays and a secondary program on Thursdays with topics ranging from healthy cooking to gardening - all live on the library’s Facebook page. The most recent class, Container Veggie Gardens, had nearly 120 advance registrants and nearly 160 views in the first hour it was posted on Facebook.
“We are immensely thankful for the grant opportunities Oklahoma Humanities provides,” said Sara Schieman, Librarian. “Especially in this time of uncertainty and drastic change, this funding has allowed us to completely redesign our service model quickly, from an in-person to a virtual model, to provide summer reading activities for the youth of our community.”
The Mabel C. Fry Public Library is one of Yukon’s best departments. Optimism, energy and opportunity inspire the best in everything we do. To learn more about Yukon’s best, visit www.yukonok.gov or call 405-354-8232.