Library Seeks Funds For Solar Panels

BERLIN – Library officials say they will seek grant funding for a solar project at the Berlin branch.

On Tuesday, Worcester County Library Director Jennifer Ranck presented the Worcester County Library Board of Trustees with a potential grant funding opportunity through the library resource company EBSCO.

“This is a long shot, but EBSCO is the vendor we select our periodicals from and they have a grant for solar energy projects …,” she said. “We thought the Berlin library would be the perfect place for that.”

Since 2016, EBSCO has provided grants to libraries looking to fund solar projects that help offset electricity costs. And in 2022, the company will award $300,000 to its grant winners.

Ranck told board members this week the library plans to apply for EBSCO Solar grant funding, which would be used to pay for the installation of solar panels at the Berlin branch. While panels could be placed on the roof, Ranck said she liked the idea of installing a solar canopy in the library’s parking lot.

“I think that looks the best,” she said.

Ranck noted that the library has received the support of town officials to apply for the grant, but would still need permission from the Worcester County Commissioners.

Applications, she added, are due in April.

“That building was certainly built to take advantage of solar,” she said.

The library board last week also discussed plans to explore new logos for the Worcester County Library.

Board President Nancy Howard advocated for a more modern symbol to represent the library and its resources.

“Libraries aren’t just books anymore …,” she said. “I think a logo should be moving. It shouldn’t just sit there, it should be alive. With libraries, all things are possible. Books are just the beginning.”

Board member Jocelyn Briddell said she supported the proposed logo change.

“From my perspective, logos are important because it provides recognition for the organization,” she said. “It’s the organization’s brand. When people see it, they recognize it before they even get to the L in library.”

Briddell told board members the logo change could even be turned into a community contest.

“I think it’s an opportunity for us to engage the community in deciding on what our next logo will be for the library,” she said.

After further discussion, the board agreed to explore possibilities for a new logo in the coming months.

“I’m not sure how much the community is saying we need a new logo …,” Ranck said. “I think we can roll with changes. It would just take a bit of work.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.