Mar 3, 2009 V.I. libraries will receive $40,000 to conserve, preserve and maintain their collections for future generations.
The territory's libraries are among 23 recipients of grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The funds will be used to create conservation plans for the territory's collections.
After the planning stage is completed, the plan will be submitted to the Institute again in hopes of receiving more federal funds for its implementation, Ingrid Bough, director of the territory's libraries said Tuesday.
"This is seed money," Bough said. "Once you have a good plan in place, then they might be more generous."
The grant received so far is the most any recipient received from the institute, Bough observed.
"We did secure the maximum amount," Bough said. "This is just an initial grant for the territory to come together to show needs."
Bough's goal for the collection is to protect it, conserve it and make available to the public in the future.
The territory's collections contain very rare and historic books and documents.
"We have it behind glass and they are protected but we want to conserve and preserve and maintain them for future generations," Bough said.
Some of the work needed for conservation and preservation will have to be performed by professional conservators, according to Bough.
Bough has returned to her roots here in the Virgin Islands after 20 years in Washington, D.C., working at the Library of Congress. She's leveraged her experience there to put the federal resources to work for the library system here.
In her first year at the libraries' helm Bough has seen the system flourish, starting with the territory's libraries being included in the surplus books program. The books are free to libraries, they just have to pay for shipping.
In addition, a new $13 million state-of-the-art library facility in Tutu on St. Thomas is in the planning stages, with an anticipated summer of 2010 opening.
The libraries have also launched their new comprehensive website, and Bough invites everyone to check it out here.
"It's been a wonderful year of really contributing to my community and raising library awareness," Bough said.
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