The Union County Carnegie Library Bookmobile is now equipped with two computers and the library has 15 new books on genealogy thanks to a $2,000 grant donated by Union Elks Lodge 1321.
Jim Cunningham, the Lodge’s Elks National Foundation (ENF) chairman, said that each Elk is asked to donate an amount set by the national Elks president for their lodge. Cunningham said Elks Lodge 1321 met its 2012 goal of an average of $4.50 per member and that he, as the lodge’s ENF chairman, sent those funds to the ENF which he described as an arm of the national Elks organization. The ENF then uses the donations it receives from a lodge to fund a “Gratitude Grant” which it awards to an agency or institution that serves the lodge’s community.
Cunningham said he informed Carnegie personnel of the potential for a $2,000 Gratitude Grant for 2012 and was informed by them that their most pressing need was for computers for the Bookmobile. He said he then applied for the grant and when it was approved by the ENF and the lodge received the funds, Cunningham said he presented the library with the check which it used to purchase not only the computers, but 15 new books on genealogy as well.
“The library personnel did an excellent job of securing these computers at the best possible price,” Cunningham said. “They had filled out paperwork with prices when the grant process was begun, but they were able to secure computers at a better price when they ordered them. They took the money saved and met another great need at our library.”
Cunningham said the donation is part of the lodge’s commitment to serving the community. He pointed out that the lodge has made donations to the library each year for the past two years and as long as it is able to meet its annual ENF goal will continue to do so.
“I want to thank all the lodge members for contributing to the Elks National Foundation,” Cunningham said. “The Elks are the largest giver of scholarships in the United States other than the US government.”
Library Director Ben Loftis said the new Bookmobile computers will meet a pressing need in the county.
“There are many adults and children in Union County who have no access to computers, and have no means of transportation into the City of Union to access the available computers at the library,” Loftis said. “The addition of the computers to the Bookmobile makes it possible for adults to apply for work positions, generate resumes, and other important uses we all have for computers. The computers also make it possible for Union County students to use these computers and keep their computer skills up during the summer when they are away from school.”
The library possesses an extensive genealogical collection which Loftis said attracts researchers from throughout the country and beyond. He said this resource has been enhanced by the addition of the books the library was able to purchase with the funds donated by the Elks Lodge.
“People come from all across South Carolina and other states and sometimes other countries to make use of the resources that we have available and the excellent expert on genealogy we have at our library,” Loftis said. “Ms. Bernice Bryson, our genealogy expert, needed several new books to help her to help those interested in tracing family members and other associated endeavors. The money that was saved with the purchase of the computers was used to purchase some much needed books on genealogy.”
The genealogical research books purchased by the library include:
• Wills & Probate by Karen Grannum
• Finding Anyone, Anywhere, Anywhen by Noel Montgomery Elliot
• Finding Oprah’s Roots: Finding Your Own by Henry Louis Gates
• Union, South Carolina Polk City Directory
• The Family Tree Problem Solver by Marsha Hoffman Rising
• Shaking The Family Tree by Buzzy Jackson
• Mastering Immigration & Naturalization Records by W. Daniel Quillen
• Reuniting by Pamela Slaton
• Who Do You Think You Are? by Megan Smolenyak
• The Everything Guide To Online Genealogy by Kimberly Powell
• Red Book: American State, County, And Town Sources by Alice Eichholz
• They Came In Ships by John P. Colletta, Ph.D
• From Generation To Generation by Arthur Kurzwell
• The Genealogist’s Guide To Researching Tax Records by Carol Cooke Darrow And Susan Winchester Ph.D
• The 835 Finding My Family by Frank A. Davis
Loftis thanked Union Elks Lodge 1321 for its support of the library.
“We’re just thrilled the Elks have considered us again this year in their giving,” Loftis said. “The Elks have been very generous to the library over the past several years, their generosity has been greatly appreciated.
“We’re very excited this year to expand the resources our Bookmobile provides as well as upgrade our technology inside the library and expand our collection of genealogy resources,” he said. “These are several areas in which the library is able to serve the community and we really appreciate the Elks’ support in enhancing our resources.”
The Union County Carnegie Library is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday. For more information about the library and the services it provides call 427-7140.