Community Fund

In 2016 the Cashiers Community Fund awarded the Friends of the Library a $3,600 grant  to support the literacy of the children in the greater Cashiers community.  While ACCCL’s user base and circulation have steadily increased, almost tripling since the mid-1990s, the relative number of children who use the library’s services lags.  The $3,600 made three programs possible.

 The library now has two Finch Coding Robots.  Cashiers Librarian Serenity Richards says that, “they have become a staple of our STEAM programming. The two robots are designed to facilitate computer programming skills for a wide range of ages and expertise. Having two units has allowed us to let our budding coders challenge each other in obstacle courses and completing tasks. These Finch Robots provide a stepping stone for more in-depth STEAM programming to help position our children for the tech jobs of the future and the children are enthusiastic about playing with them.”  

The grant also increased the library’s small collection of Bag Books.  Book Bundles are popular with Cashiers’ juvenile readers. By having a recording of the book and a hard copy of the book to read along with, these Bundles help struggling readers gain confidence and fluency in their reading skills. They are also popular with fluent readers that are being introduced to new concepts and vocabulary. The library has aligned the Bundles with the area Summer Reading Lists to help students accomplish their summer homework assignments. 

 Ms. Richards added that, “one unanticipated patron group using them are English language learners. Several older children and adults that are learning English and have embraced the Bundles as a way to increase their fluency in English.”

The Cashiers Community Fund grant has funded new shelving for Easy and Beginner Reader new books.  Cashiers Librarian Serenity Richards said that “the old shelving system made it very difficult for kids and parents to access our collection and had become a barrier to our early literacy efforts. The new shelving is designed specifically to showcase these types of books, are child sized, and will make the new books much more easily accessible.  

The Friends hope that these programs will increase reading and computer literacy in the Cashiers community by encouraging children to select and read in the library and at home, and by exposing them to computer languages at the library.  Increased usage by juvenile and young adult readers will demonstrate positive short run results.  Long term, these results will help support a more educated workforce to fuel local economic development, as well as more and higher quality cultural activities in our community.

This three-tiered program encourages children in the Cashiers community to read by enhancing and enriching their experience while in the library and in their homes.