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Posted on: September 20, 2019

Grants to fund wellness, entrepreneurial initiatives at library

Main Library building

The Orange County Public Library has been awarded grants to pilot new initiatives to serve residents. Grant funds are coming from two sources--the State Library of North Carolina and NC IDEA, a private foundation in Durham, NC. The grants will enable the library systems to offer health and wellness and entrepreneurial support programs.

“During our strategic planning process we heard from residents that while they wanted us to continue offering traditional library services, like storytimes, they wanted us to offer more to adult learners.” Lucinda Munger, library director explained. “Both of these initiatives meet that objective.”

Healthy Brains, Healthy Bodies
State library logoWorking with Santosha Space Yoga, a local, woman-owned business, the library will host free wellness classes in Hillsborough. Programs will begin this fall and will focus on Yoga for a Healthy Spine and Meditation for Beginners.

“Cost, lack of information and intimidation are often barriers for individuals who want to explore what it means to ‘live a healthy lifestyle,’ explained Erin Sapienza, community librarian. “Our hope is that people who participate in these classes will feel more confident about achieving their wellness goals.”

Funds for the wellness programs at the Orange County Public Library come from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-19-0034-19).

Libraries as Entrepreneurial Learning Centers

To support existing economic and workforce development efforts in Orange County, the library will test-pilot an entrepreneurial learning center at its Hillsborough location. The center will include: Ice House Entrepreneurial Mindset workshops; a designated location within the building for materials about existing community services; and appointments for residents who want to learn how to access those services as well as those available at the library.

NC IDEA Foundation logo“People with an entrepreneurial mindset, tend to be action-oriented, curious and resourceful problem solvers,” said Libbie Hough, communications manager and the other member of the library’s community engagement division. “It can be hard work, but almost everyone can learn to approach challenges with curiosity rather than with a sense of being conquered. What community or workplace wouldn’t benefit from having more of us be solution-oriented?”

Financial support for this initiative comes from NC IDEA, a Durham-based private foundation with a mission to maximize the economic potential of the people of North Carolina by supporting the formation and fruition of high-growth entrepreneurial endeavors in the state. They see libraries as places uniquely qualified to teach people from all walks of life to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

The Orange County Public Library has three locations. The Main Library is located at 137 W. Margaret Lane in downtown Hillsborough. The Carrboro Branch is located inside McDougle Middle School, 900 Old Fayetteville Road in Chapel Hill. The Cybrary is located at The Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro Street, Carrboro. Free parking is available at all library locations. For library hours of operation and complete service and program information, please visit www.OrangeCountyLibrary.org