Sometimes our programs and services can be discontinued through no fault of our own, and we have to think outside the box to re-envision this work. This was the case for us when Hurricane Matthew caused major flooding to our community in 2016. Our deposit collection services, located in the lower level of our Headquarters Library of Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, N.C., sustained severe damage when flooding damaged all central operations.
Deposit collections provided a lending library of rotating, gently used, discarded children’s materials. These collections were sent to child care facilities and other community organizations serving youth. These child care facilities qualified for services because the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education ranked these centers with low ratings of one, two, or three stars. Each facility also served a minimum of ten children. The majority of users receiving deposit collection services were preschool age children, children learning to read, and newly independent readers.
3,180 books were distributed as part of children’s deposit collections during July – December 2016, but Hurricane Matthew caused us to discontinue the rotation of these books or add new centers. This disruption also prevented other interested organizations from benefiting from this service. Initially scheduled to receive its first deposit collection in October 2016, the Boys & Girls Club of Cumberland County became unable to receive any deposit collection books because of this delay in service.
Thankfully, a LSTA Grant of $5,000 provided the support we needed to re-introduce this service within our community this past year. Through this funding, we were able to purchase hundreds of new beginning readers and deposit collection bags. We have brought this service to groups working with underserved populations such as the Boys & Girls Club, Salvation Army, Connections of Cumberland County, Fayetteville Urban Ministry, and the Child Health Clinic through the Department of Public Health. We look to continue expanding this service to additional groups, including the WIC Office, during this summer.
This grant is made possible through funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
Are you looking forward to revitalizing any services or programming due to funding, donations, or shifting resources and staff? Please share in the comments below!