October 2, 2020

Library Receives Grant for Digital Services Transformation          

Lonesome Pine Regional Library is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of an Institute of Museum and Library Services FY2020 CARES Act Grant for Museums and Libraries. The purpose of the $208,912 grant is to enhance virtual services in Wise, Dickenson, Lee, and Scott Counties and the City of Norton. LPRL is one of only 68 agencies out of 1,701 applicants and the only public library in Virginia to receive this funding.  

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. IMLS notes that libraries are essential to their communities, especially during public health emergencies, as they provide community information, education, and connection.

“As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities.”

The grant provides LPRL the ability to reach individuals where they are during this time of need while also advancing its technological footprint.

“Library staff will be able to reach patrons digitally, engage in experiential workshops, chat online, and teach digital literacy skills through programming activities,” says Dr. Lu Ellsworth, Chair of the Library Board of Trustees. “Library patrons will have digital access to services and programs free of cost without compromise of health and safety. We could not be more excited to embrace technologies that empower our communities.” 

Through this multi-faceted collaboration to support the library’s digital strategy, LPRL will partner with three regional education institutions for staff professional development.

Library staff will attend Library Media and Education courses offered by the University of Virginia’s College at Wise to provide a solid framework for meeting the challenges of a changing virtual landscape.

“The education that staff members receive through this grant will enhance their ability to thrive in the new milieu, and to better serve the residents of Southwest Virginia,” says Amelia Harris, Academic Dean and Associate Provost.

Mountain Empire Community College will provide Microsoft Office classes, as President Kristen Westover outlines, “Mountain Empire Community College has a long history of successful partnerships with Lonesome Pine Regional Library. We look forward to strengthening that partnership as we offer re-training opportunities for the library staff to be successful in providing digital library service during the COVID-19 pandemic. “

The Department of Media and Communication at East Tennessee State University will provide Adobe Creative Cloud training and certification courses and Media Production and Social Media Bootcamps for library staff.

“ETSU is committed to providing digital literacy support to our Appalachian Highlands region. Skills gained from this effort will enable Lonesome Pine Regional Library to continue to have impact during this pandemic and beyond. We’re excited for this partnership in Southwest Virginia,” exclaims Stephen Marshall, Professor and Department Chair.

The library will receive equipment to advance its technology capabilities, including 20 laptops, 10 state-of-the-art digital cameras and tripods, and supporting peripherals.   

Additionally, the library will acquire digital resources to introduce a host of new programming initiatives: LibraryH3lp Reference Chat; Zoom Pro; Tumblebooks, an interactive database of children’s ebooks; and CreativeBug, a database of on-trend arts and crafts instructional videos.

“We are so pleased that this grant, ‘Creating Digital Fluencies in the Communities of the Lonesome Pine,’ gives the library a unique opportunity to provide our residents and business communities access to the latest technology that supports their success in school, work, and life,” says Regional Library Director, Julie Short.

Grant activities will occur over a two-year period. For more information on this initiative, contact Julie Short at 276-328-8325 or

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.