LAKE WORTH — The Palm Beach State College Belle Glade campus was recently awarded a $3,000 grant from the American Library Association to give students free access to the most popular or costly textbooks through the local public libraries.
The funding is part of the association’s Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries initiative offered in partnership with the Association of Rural and Small Libraries to address issues experienced by rural and small communities. The campus library already allows students to check out some textbooks for free, but more options were needed.
“Students typically check out our reserve textbooks at a high demand from the Belle Glade campus library,” said librarian and professor Iris Fiallos-Finstad. “Since COVID we have been allowing students to check them out for the semester, but we do not have enough and access to them has become an escalating problem. This was a solution. They can now access these textbooks at their local library and have access to additional study spaces.”
With the grant, the Belle Glade Library, Clarence E. Anthony Branch Library in South Bay, and the Loula V. York Branch Library in Pahokee each received seven of the most popular PBSC student textbooks and one handheld ultraviolet light for sanitizing the textbooks after use. When PBSC students visit the libraries, they can now check out the books for onsite use for up to four hours.
According to Fiallos-Finstad, the initiative also helps the campus build a stronger relationship with the community and increases the college’s visibility as a partner who listens to students and faculty. For more information, contact her at 561-993-1151.