Cannon County is one of more than 70 communities across Tennessee that will receive grants to upgrade technology at rural libraries.
These grants, which total more than $1.2 million, are the product of a partnership between the Office of the Secretary of State, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development in a quest to strengthen rural communities by developing libraries.
The county will receive $16,076.
“Libraries in rural areas play an especially important role in connecting citizens with the resources and opportunities that are oftentimes isolated to urban areas,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “These grants will go a long way toward providing vital access to computers and the Internet, which is particularly helpful in some of the areas that were hit the hardest by the recession.”
Grants may be used to cover costs for computer equipment, new training, educational opportunities, Internet access and other enhancements approved by the USDA.
“These grants will help people access information on employment opportunities, job training, small business development and education here in Cannon County,” said state Sen. Mae Beavers. “This will help level the playing field in the job market and eliminate the need for some people to drive to big cities to get Internet access.”
“When people have trouble getting Internet connections or cannot afford a home computer, our public library fills a void,” said state Rep. Mark Pody. “Our community is extremely grateful for the help of the Office of the Secretary of State, ECD and USDA Rural Development.”