Union County, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce 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.  Included was a $7,500 grant to the Springfield Free Public Library.

“Our local public libraries enable every child to access many different pathways to knowledge,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “In particular, keeping up with today’s digital resources can be a challenge for libraries given the cost of procuring up-to-date technology. County funding can help fill that gap and ensure every child has a chance to learn.”

“The Union County Library Grant program provides more educational resources to our youth and also furthers their education outside of the school setting,” said Freeholder Vice Chairman Sergio Granados, who chairs the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. “The Freeholder Board is proud to support our local libraries, which bring children from all walks of life together on an equal basis and help to forge an appreciation for our diverse community.”

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Libraries can use their Union County grant award to upgrade facilities, programming, materials and equipment that directly benefit children’s literature and activities.

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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For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.