CLARK, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders awarded a total of $146,968 in funding to improve children’s programming in 20 local public libraries, through the 2017 Union County Library Grant program. 

The town of Clark received a grant for $7500.  Libraries can use their Union County grant award to upgrade facilities, programming, materials and equipment that directly benefit children’s literature and activities. 

"The Union County Freeholder's Grant is a remarkable initiative offered to the libraries of Union County.  The grant enables local libraries to offer children's programming, expose children to new technologies, make upgrades to our children's computers, and purchase new items to help create a community space within our library," said Clark Library Director Megan Kociolek.

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Kociolek indicated the money from this grant funds Science and Technology workshops, new computers in the Children’s area, Maker-Mondays program, a puppet theater and a Duplo table.  Additionally some of the money was used to buy filament for the library’s 3D printer and a movable table so the children could watch it in action. 

The grant also provided funds to promote the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative.   Parents can sign their kids up for this program from the time they are babies.

The annual grant initiative was launched in 2015 by Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski with the goal of helping local, non-school libraries strengthen their programming for children.

“The grant program has been received with great enthusiasm since its inception. Last year’s awardees used their funds for science programs, coding classes, robotics clubs, summer and after-school reading programs, technology upgrades and much more,” said Freeholder Kowalski. “Our local libraries are helping to foster the next generation of lifelong learners, and their efforts help to strengthen the whole Union County community.”

The library grant program is administered through the Trust Fund and uses non-tax dollars from fees at the County’s two golf courses.

2017 Union County Library Grant Awardees:

Berkeley Heights         $4,500.00

Clark                         $7,500.00

Cranford                    $7,496.00

Elizabeth                    $7,500.00

Fanwood                    $7,500.00

Garwood                    $7,500.00

Hillside                      $7,500.00

Kenilworth                 $7,500.00

Linden                       $7,500.00

Mountainside              $7,500.00

New Providence          $7,499.42

Plainfield                   $7,500.00

Rahway                      $7,500.00

Roselle                       $7,500.00

Roselle Park               $7,500.00

Scotch Plains              $7,500.00

Springfield                 $7,500.00

Summit                      $7,500.00

Union                        $7,500.00

Westfield                    $7,500.00

Total                          $146,968.48

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