Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced Thursday that the Scenic Regional Library has been awarded a $6,238 Edge Action Plan Grant.

The grant will be used to add a self-checkout station at the new Union branch of Scenic Regional Library to provide faster and independent access to the library’s circulation, reader advisory and online registration services.

The new Union branch opened Aug. 21. The branch is located at 251 Union Plaza Drive near Pasta House and off Independence Drive.

“Our libraries are an invaluable resource to Missourians, offering public access to a wide array of materials and technology,” Ashcroft said. “These grants ensure libraries have the funds they need to offer quality technology-based services and programs to their patrons.”

The Union branch plans to celebrate the end of construction with a grand opening ceremony Saturday, Sept. 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ashcroft will be a guest speaker.

The event will feature a bounce house, face painting, balloon artist, music and free hot dogs, popcorn, chips and soda.

There will be a dedication ceremony at 11:30 a.m. featuring guest speakers. In addition to Ashcroft, Missouri State Librarian Robin Westphal and Franklin County Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker will make remarks.

The Union Area Chamber of Commerce also will hold a ribbon cutting.

Edge is a nationally recognized tool that helps libraries evaluate their technology services based on a set of national technology benchmarks, giving them resources, recommendations and ideas for strategic planning and community engagement.

The Edge Action Plan Grants provide funds to assist public libraries in completing goals they set from using Edge. Projects may address needs for new or expanded technology-based services or the replacement of outdated technology at the library, as identified through an Edge Assessment.

The Secretary of State’s State Library has approved a total of 15 grant applications in the 2020 fiscal year, totaling $158,934 in federal awards that the secretary’s office has distributed to libraries throughout Missouri.

The grants are funded by the Library Services and Technology Act through the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.