Union, NJ – The Union Public Library has received $7,500 from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders to improve children’s programming, through the 2017 Union County Library Grant program.

“The Union Public Library is pleased to again receive grant funding from the Freeholders this year,” said Union’s Library Director Karen O’Malley.  “This year we will use the funds to purchase supplies in order to offer STEAM and new Gaming programming for children, teens and teens.”

“Both the Main Library and Vauxhall Branch will benefit from the funding to enhance learning opportunities outside the classroom in a friendly, relaxed environment,” said O’Malley.  “Our creative Youth Services staff work hard to make sure all youth in Union find something at the library that interests them. It's not a one-size-fits-all library.”

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“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.”

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.

Other 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

Westfield                    $7,500.00

Total                          $146,968.48