NCHS Selected As Recipient Of $5,000 Grant
By Alex Haglund
Nashville Community High School Librarian and Media Center Director Leigh Ann Cloud came before the school board at their last regular meeting for the 2017-2018 school year, held on June 25, and gave them her annual report.
In addition to the report helping to keep the board up to date on the media center and the activities and offerings there for students, Cloud also stated that a condition of a per capita grant that the school receives was for the librarian to give a report to the board.
“We received the per capita grant, the $750, which is kind of the normal one,” Cloud said, but she added, “my highlight of the school year is that they brought back the LSTA grant.”
The LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant is competitive and administered through the Illinois State Library System.
While Cloud was pleased to see the grant return, she wasn’t sure NCHS would be a beneficiary, with her stating that this year, the grant was more competitive than normal, because both school and public libraries were lumped together. Despite this, the NCHS Media Center was selected to receive the full grant amount of $4,999.99.
In Media Center Statistics presented to the board by Cloud, checkouts and items borrowed for circulation were both down from previous years.
The number of added items however, Cloud’s report stated was mainly due to the librarian, herself, only being assigned to the library for three periods a day.
Cloud told the board that there were times in the year that she was concerned that NCHS wouldn’t qualify for certain grants and materials due to the relatively short amount of time she was able to be present at the Media Center.
SRC database searches were down from last school year too. However, student usage of the Opposing Viewpoints Database, a new service which only started in the spring of the 2016-2017 school year was up by a large amount – from 154 sessions last spring to 1,001 through the 2017-2018 school year.
MackinVIA ebooks logins were up greatly as well. During the 2016-2017 school year, there were 90 logins, while in 2017-2018, there were 378.
The Media Center report credited the jumps up in Opposing Viewpoints and MackinVIA usage to encouragement and help from the English Department.
Finally, Cloud presented numbers that were down which were a good thing: student declining numbers of student Chromebook loaners issued and help desk tickets opened.
Cloud said that these numbers were due to less students forgetting their Chromebooks and taking better care of them. Credit for this, she told the board, lies largely with Principal Mark Begando, who she said spoke with and counseled students, particularly new students, on the importance of school preparation.