WESTFIELD, NJ —  The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced Friday that it is awarding a $4,800 grant to Westfield Memorial Library to expand, create and enhance programming offered to children.

Administered through a trust fund established with non-tax dollars, the grant opportunity made more than $73,000 available to 20 Union County public libraries. Types 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.

“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 in a press release. “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.”

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

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

To read the full list of library grants awarded, click here.