CRANFORD, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders awarded the Cranford Public Library $4,000, as part of a new Union County Library Grant. The grant is aimed toward the improvement and enhancement of children’s programs, Cranford was one of 20 public libraries in the county to receive such a grant.

According to John Malar, Director of the Cranford Public Library, the Children’s Room in the library is responsible for more than half of the library’s annual circulation. Malar said, “We will be using the grant to pay for an architectural study that would look at the feasibility of expanding the Children's Room, which was expanded slightly as part of a renovation that took place in 2001. However, it is still far too small for the amount of business it does. The collection is crammed into the Children's Room space and needs more room to spread out.”

The purpose of the architectural study is to show if expansion out toward the main parking lot is an option, along with providing the potential project cost.

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Freeholder Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh said, “As a youth my library card was as good as any driver’s license. It gave me access to the world and I enjoyed spending hours there reading. In today’s world, advancement in technology has changed the way young people learn and utilize the library,” Jalloh continued, “Through this grant program, the Freeholder Board hopes to support our public libraries in their efforts to offer programs and services that inspire learning in the ever-changing digital age.”

Administered through a Trust Fund established with non-tax dollars, the grant opportunity made available over $73,000 to the 20 public libraries.