By MARK MCGEE
Patrons of the Shelbyville-Bedford Library can get a charge out of their visit without ever going inside.
A solar charging station has been added to the right of the entrance to the library near the flag pole.
The station, installed by Enerfusion, was made possible by a 2024 grant through Training Opportunities for the Public (TOP).
“The grant is one we have received for several years,” library director Margaret Petty said. “It helps us to have a one-on-one person available in our computer lab on a regular basis with needs that take longer than 10-to-15 minutes.
“The grant also offers funding for hot spots, solar charging stations and other technology needs within the library. Over the years this grant has been such a help to our community by offering one-on-one training, Chromebooks for checkout and now this solar station for our patrons to use 24/7 to charge their phones, tablets, computers and other wireless devices.”
Petty added that Angelia Nelson-James is the grant helper for the library. She is paid through the TOP Grant. She has been with the library for almost five years.
The total award for the 2024 TOP Grant is $19,915. The Grant period ends June 30, 2024.
This was an 80/20 matching grant for the solar umbrella for the station. The Friends of the Library donated the funding for the ADA compliant picnic table as well as the 20 percent matching funds for the umbrella.
“Without the Friends of the Library helping with the funding this would not have been possible,” Petty said. “We are also thankful to Jamie Ritter, state librarian and archivist for the Tennessee State Library and Archives, and Secretary of State Tre Hargett for continuing to support libraries and other grants such as this one to help make libraries the center of each community.”