SPRINGVILLE—In helping to further advance the programs and offerings of local libraries, Senator Patrick Gallivan recently announced grants totaling $32,500 for 11 local libraries in his district.
The Hulbert Library of the Town of Concord, Boston Free Library and Collins Library each received a $2,500 grant that will be used toward technology related programs and services for the library.
“Public libraries enrich the lives of residents of all ages by providing access to books, films, computers and the internet,” Gallivan said in a press release. “People can do research, advance their education, write a resume or search for a job from the comfort of their neighborhood library. It’s important to make sure these facilities have the resources necessary to meet the needs of the communities they serve.”
At the Hulbert Library of the Town of Concord, Librarian Bridgette Heintz said she is grateful for the help Gallivan has provided over the years to help in the growth of the library.
“Senator Gallivan has always been supportive of the libraries in his district and he is always pushing for more funding to the different libraries so we can offer more programming,” Heintz said. “It always feels good to get more funding and to be supported.”
While there is no specific plans for the funding yet, Heintz said they are planning on expanding their maker club programs with some of the money. The maker club allows kids to do different activities and use a variety of technology including Sphere, Osmo, Snap Circuits and Ozobot that teaches kids about science, math and coding. From funding last year, the library was able to purchase some of this technology and expanding on this program will continue to help kids in the community.
“There is always new technology coming out … we want to expand that,” Heintz said.
At the Town of Collins Library, Librarian Abigail Barten-McGowan said they were very happy to hear they got this grant and are excited to be able to expand on the new technology the library currently has for the public to use.
“It’s always really exciting when we find out about grants, especially when they are for technology,” Barten-McGowan said. “Our budgets are small and $2,500 is a good amount of money and you can get a lot done, especially for a smaller library.”
In the past, Barten-McGowan said they have used this money toward bringing technology that is new and not regularly available in the area, including a 3-D printer and virtual reality. While there isn’t an exact plan for the newest grant money yet, Barten-McGowan said they hope to bring in even more of this new technology.
“Part of what we do is we like to expose the public to things that they are not used to and they don’t see everyday,” Barten-McGowan said. “Without this money, we wouldn’t have been able to do either of these projects … we have all this technology here and available for everybody and its things that aren’t available, especially down here in the rural areas.”
For the Boston Free Library, Librarian Lydia Herren said that Gallivan's help over the years has been vital in helping the library keep up to date on their technology for the public and she is excited about the possibilities of the newest grant.
“[Gallivan’s] support has been invaluable to us. He has been able to secure funds on an ongoing basis for the library so that we can keep our technology updated here,” Herren said.
Over the past few years, the grant money from Gallivan’s office has been used for many different projects including replacing the public use computers, purchasing laptops and iPads for public use, updating the security system and replacing computer desks. They hope to continue upgrading the library with the latest funding.
“It allows us to keep up to date on the technology as everything is moving so quickly now that we need to be able to update all of the technology that the public is using in order to provide good service here,” Herren said. “The grant funding allows us to make these necessary improvements and then we can focus more on programming and outreaching within the community.”