Solar-Powered Picnic Table Coming To Mokena Library

·2 min read

MOKENA, IL — A new picnic table is coming to the Mokena Community Public Library District. But, unlike regular old picnic tables good for only, well, picnicking, this one will be solar powered and able to charge people's devices, allowing library patrons to both use the library's wifi and power up their devices at the same time.

"The thought was to basically increase our library services," said Mokena Community Public Library District Assistant Director Luke Surdel. "Whether we're closed or open, we want people to be able to come on to our campus grounds, and they can not only use our wifi, but now they can plug into an electrical socket to charge their devices while they're using our wifi."

The Sunbolt CampusXL, which Surdel said is the model the library will purchase with the grant money, comes equipped with USB and USB-C outlets, Qi Wireless Charging and two attached benches, according to information on Sunbolt's website.

Installation for the solar-powered picnic table is scheduled in the next couple of weeks, Surdel said.

"We're pretty excited about it," Surdel said. "When we put the grant in and found out we got awarded with it, we were pretty thrilled."

The Mokena Library was the beneficiary of a $15,450 grant from the Illinois Secretary of State's office, according to a news release from the office. The money is part of the Secretary of State's Pandemic Recovery Grants program, which handed out nearly $6,000,000 to Illinois libraries focused on "responding directly to the COVID-19 pandemic by modifying services, transforming spaces and developing resources for their local recovering workforce," according to the Secretary of State's office.

Gants were awarded in three categories:

  • Bouncing back from the pandemic, for developing resources for the local workforce.

  • Expanding digital inclusion, for transforming library services.

  • And on the road to recovery, for transforming library spaces, which is what the Mokena grant was awarded for.

“During the ongoing pandemic, libraries have had to retool their services to match the needs of the community and I am honored to be able to provide funding to allow these libraries to expand access to their patrons,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. “I applaud the library community in Illinois for their hard work as they continue to provide essential services during this challenging time.”

This article originally appeared on the Mokena Patch

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