Library adds new equipment with stimulus help

Thursday, December 16, 2010
Library director Gay Johnson and Records Imaging Service, Inc. sales rep. Kevin Haynie with the Piggott Public Library's new microfilm reader/printer.

The Piggott Public Library has added a new piece of equipment in its efforts to offer visitors a better glimpse into the past.

A new microfilm reader/printer was delivered to the library last week. The machine will allow visitors to view older documents -- such as historic censuses and old editions of the Piggott Times and Piggott Banner newspapers -- which the library has saved on microfilm.

The machine has been placed in the library's genealogy room, where it is expected to be of great use to patrons who wish to turn their eyes to the past in search of family records or those just curious about the way the way things were "back when."

"This is going to be a great asset to us," library director Gay Johnson said. "We've got copies of the old Piggott newspapers and the census going back to 1942. The microfilm reader will help people find information on family history. It's really a helpful machine."

Johnson said the library has been working to add to its microfilm collection, beefing up the amount of information available.

The printer capabilities of the machine, which can reproduce an entire newspaper page, also will allow visitors the opportunity have their own copies of these older documents.

The library was able to purchase the microfilm reader/printer through a matching grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which paid 35 percent of the cost. The library approached county leaders in order to receive assistance in seeking funding.

"The county helped us a lot," Johnson said. "The county judge's office worked with us and helped us get funding."

The remaining cost was appropriated in the budget by the Clay County Library Board, with the Piggott Public Library agreeing to reimburse the funds. Johnson said the library is considering a number of activities to serve as fundraisers.

The microfilm reader/printer was purchased from Records Imaging Systems, Inc., of Little Rock. Johnson said the company was very helpful in determining which machine would best suit the library's needs. Sales representative Kevin Haynie was on hand when the machine arrived, overseeing its installation and giving a tutorial on its operation.

"They've been very good to work with," Johnson said of the company. "We appreciate all their help."

Johnson said the library hopes also to add a new color printer through the same program.

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