Mechanicsburg, Pa – The Cumberland County Library System Foundation has been awarded a national grant to support staff development. The American Library Association’s H.W. Wilson Grant is an annual award consisting of $3,500 and a 24k gold-framed citation given to a library organization whose application demonstrates greatest merit for a program of staff development designed to further the goals and objectives of the library organization.

Originally scheduled for October 2020, the Cumberland County Library System Staff Development Day was to feature national trainer Warren Graham, The Black Belt Librarian, in his last public appearance before his retirement. Mr. Graham was going to address staff from Cumberland County’s eight libraries, as well as guest library staff from Perry County and Dauphin County on all aspects of library safety. Because of COVID-19 distancing regulations, the Warren Graham training has been postponed until 2021.

“We are honored to receive this national grant, and to be able to share Mr. Graham’s expertise with our peers in Perry and Dauphin counties,” stated Carolyn Blatchley, library system executive director. “Warren Graham is well worth the wait, and we appreciate ALA’s extending the grant so the event can take place when large in-person gatherings resume.”

The Cumberland County Library System Foundation serves Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, one of the fastest growing areas in the state.  In 2019, the System’s eight libraries served 110,351 active library card holders (more than 40 percent of Cumberland County’s 250,000 residents). Support from the H.W. Wilson Grant will be used to provide a full day of professional development training to Cumberland County public library staff, as well as staff from nearby rural Perry County and neighboring Dauphin County, all part of the Capital Area Library District. The day of training will be focused on developing the skills, strategies and techniques of staff, especially “frontline” staff, at these libraries to provide a safer library space for both staff and patrons. The H.W. Wilson Grant was announced in the September/October edition of “American Libraries.”

Jairee Counterman
Cumberland County Library System and Foundation