UNION COUNTY, NJ – Mountainside Free Public Library was among the 20 public libraries awarded a 2015 Union County Library Grant for children’s programming and materials. The new grant opportunity seeks to expand, create, and enhance programming offered to children by libraries within Union County.

“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,” said Freeholder Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh. “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.”

Public libraries engage children in many different learning opportunities that are crucial to social and educational growth.

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“Libraries help to strengthen our neighborhoods by supporting the cultural lives of our diverse communities,” noted Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, who championed this new grant program. “Adding important value to our communities as cultural centers, libraries are a place for children to explore, interact, and imagine.”

Administered through a Trust Fund established with non-tax dollars, the grant opportunity made available over $73,000 to support 20 Union County public libraries. Mountainside Free Public Library received $4,058.

Examples of projects eligible for funding through this grant opportunity include: technology upgrades; educational programming; purchase of books, videos, and audio tapes; creation or expansion of summer and fall programming; and planning documents.