Grant Station

Temporarily passing the Religion section brings me to the back of Grant Station. This is the view when approaching it from the back.

Behind Grant Station

Moving to the left and around the pillar shows the front of the  informational pillar

Information Pillar

and then Grant Station from the front right

Front Right and left.  Front Left

As you can see in the background, Grant Station is part of the Reference Department. Patrons may come in and use the Grant Station computer to research grants.

Since I currently do not need to research a grant, I decided to investigate this station by asking a lot of questions.

Grant Station doubles as a work space for my friend and coworker, Ricki Raccoon; the perfect one to ask.

This is what Ricki had to say:

Many people have heard of an agency receiving grant money to do a special project, but not many of us know how to look for this kind of funding opportunity.  Grant Station, located at the public Reference Desk, is a great starting point. It is accessed through a separate login on the Reference computer (ask a Reference person or someone from Circulation to assist you).

Many places award grants through both the public and private sector. The federal government has funds available and so does each state. Here in Indiana grant money comes from individual state agencies including the Indiana Department of Commerce,  the Arts Commission, Homeland Security,  Environmental Management, and Workforce Development to name just a few. Private grants can also be made through businesses (Walmart or REMC) or through non-profit foundations (Northern Indiana Community Foundation).

Grant Station is a comprehensive resource for hundreds of grant prospects, broken down in categories such as federal, state, private, profit and non-profit. At first glance, the website can seem overwhelming. Where do I start? How do I start? Here are a few tips to think about before you access it.

  1. What is your project? Even though you might be early in the planning stages, be as specific as possible. For example, a patron wanted to know if we could find funding for an animal shelter. The specific project was to fund materials to expand their existing shelter, not to start from ground-level. This is an important distinction.
  1. How much funding do you think you will be seeking and what will the money be used for? Some grants to do not allow funding to be used for “bricks and mortars,” and some will not allow for extra staff to be hired if they are only needed for the duration of the project. Breaking down the funding amounts into categories increases your flexibility in finding a grant to meet a need. One grant may not take care of the whole amount, but perhaps two or three smaller grants will do it.

You don’t need all the details of your project when you first sit down to investigate Grant Station, but it will help if you have a general idea. Many places have “mini-grants” which award amounts generally under $5,000. The reporting requirements for smaller grants are different than for larger amounts.  You will also need to represent a formal agency or organization and have a tax identification number. It is very rare for an individual to apply for and be awarded grant money.

Don’t hesitate to dive into Grant Station! It is a wealth of information, waiting to be accessed! There are truly places that want to give you money – if you meet the criteria.

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Meanwhile Back at the Lily Pad

slide projector

As noted in my previous post I had hopped on the decluttering wagon. While tidying up around the lily pad, I came across old slides that belonged to my husband. He wasn’t sure what was on them. I remembered that the library has audio visual equipment (both old and new)  that can be checked out for just such situations. I began to formulate a plan. My library project is to read my way through the library and to take advantage of the many services offered, I decided that now was the time to do some exploring of the equipment that could be checked out. I had checked out old overheads in the past, but I had never checked out the slide projector. By viewing the slides, I would be able to appropriately put the “keepers” into some kind of logical order and be able to know what was on them.

Since my husband was back in college at the time, we had to make our own entertainment. I decided that we would do an old fashioned slide show complete with popcorn and drinks for our date night. This somewhat reminded me of old fashioned home movie night back in the day. It was exciting since we didn’t know what our “show” was going to be about.. I teased my husband asking him if he had anything to confess before we viewed the slides. I’m not sure he always appreciates my sense of humor. Approaching the big date night, I checked out the slide projector  and an extra carousel. A few days later I also checked out a large movie screen on a tripod stand. I purchased our drinks and popcorn from a local store. Both carousels were loaded with slides. The night of the big date finally arrived. All that was left to do was pop the popcorn and set up the screen and the projector.

Though this wasn’t the most romantic date night, it did turn out to be rather comical. In the first place I had never used a slide projector and didn’t even know how to load one. While I was popping the popcorn, my helpful husband was setting up the projector. This went well until he picked up the carousels I had loaded. Who knew that slides can only be loaded from one direction? Needless to say when he picked up the carousels, all of the slides fell out all over the floor. We’re talking about a lot of slides! We got a good laugh out of that. Determined, I patiently reloaded the slides from the correct side this time and the carousel was set in place. My husband had previously had to use slide projectors for former jobs. We decided he would be the projector operator. Lights went out and the “show” had begun.

Our “show” was quite interesting since apparently not only do the slides have to be loaded from the top of the carousel, it seems that they also have to be loaded forward and right side up! So, some of the slides looked right, some were presented in mirror image, some were sideways or upside down. We were certainly getting practice in spatial relations! The slides themselves turned out to be a mixture of former college days, nature pictures, various airplanes, and Germany. Many of the slides had to be narrated by my husband so I would know what I was looking at. I learned a lot about him that night that I didn’t know before. A few of the slides were of friends my husband had before I met him. This prompted him to tell me stories of his life I hadn’t heard before.

Overall I would say it was a good date night with moments of comic relief. I loved learning more about my husband. I also loved being able to get the slides organized into general catefories and stored correctly. I’m grateful to the Fulton County Public Library for use of equipment, making a memorable night with my husband possible.