Homer Public Library receives $7,000 grant

The Homer Public Library received a $7,000 grant to purchase books.

The Homer Public Library received a $7,000 grant from the Alaska Public Library Assistance Fund to purchase books and library materials.

Dave Berry, library director, said the grant will help purchase new books in multiple genres for the library that will be chosen by the staff.

“It is an annual grant that the Alaska State Library hands out to all public libraries in the state every year,” Berry said. “Homer Public Library has gotten it pretty much continuously for 40 years now. It is $7,000 which can be spent on books.”

The grant is used as a supplement to the library’s budget. To be eligible for the grant, the library has to spend at least $7,000 on books and library materials each year, which Berry says is planned for in the library’s operating budget.

The ordinance for the city to accept the grant was approved during the Homer City Council regular meeting on Aug. 9. The library should receive the grant within the next few weeks, he explained.

In addition to the new books, Berry said during the pandemic, the Homer Public Library also increased its online services, such as expanding the E-book collection, updating the website to include more remote programs, and even expanded WiFi service in the parking lot for visitors to use. The library is also opening its self-checkout machines to allow for a contactless experience for visitors and is offering curbside pickups.

“The library itself has performed reasonably well,” Berry said.

While the library staff wishes they could have more in-person programs, Berry said, they are watching COVID-19 trends to determine when it will be safe to return. To view online resources offered by the library, visit www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/library.

The library is located at 500 Hazel Ave. and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, contact Berry at dberry@ci.homer.ak.us.

Reach Sarah Knapp at sarah.knapp@homernews.com.