Library grant will provide WiFi to local apartment complexes

JACKSON, Tenn. — “21st century libraries have to think outside the door, outside the box, outside the wall,” Jackson-Madison County Library Director Dinah Harris said.

And thanks to a grant, the Jackson-Madison County Library will now be able to do just that.

Secretary of State Tre Hargett presented the $10,000 check at the library Friday morning.

Part of the money will be used to bring WiFi to three different Jackson Housing Authority housing developments.

Several of the computers in the Teen Room at the Jackson-Madison County Library are being replaced by ones designed for online gaming. These computers will now move to the North Branch. The computers from the North Branch will then be used in the Jackson Housing Authority’s neighborhood community centers.

“They want upward mobility. In order to be able to compete in the market area, jobs and all, they’re going to have to be able to compete through technology, through education, so this is going to be a great step up to them and they’ll be able to achieve and make better grades in school as well,” Mark Reid, Executive Director of the Jackson Housing Authority, said.

Reid says they’re looking at Lincoln Courts, Washington Douglas and Allenton Heights as their top three neighborhoods to get WiFi.

“Some of them have it, it’s a very limited time, so they’re going to have a resource some of them have not been exposed to,” Reid said. “I know it’s going to have a great impact on them, on their attitude and character, believe it or not.”

Reid says it’s all about giving the students the chance to succeed.

The Library Foundation is matching $5,000 of the grant and another $5,000 is coming from the library’s funds, bringing the total of the grant to $20,000.

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