Longietti: $5,000 grant to support community library’s continued programs, safe operations

HERMITAGE, Aug. 5 – A grant of $5,000 will help the Community Library of the Shenango Valley continue offering residents virtual programs and services, while also providing a safe and sanitary environment for visitors, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. 

Longietti said the grant, administered by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council through the PHC CARES program, will provide critical pandemic relief. 

“As the only library system serving the 40,000 residents of our region, the Community Library of the Shenango Valley has served as an essential hub for learning, entertainment and community activity," Longietti said. "Even after the pandemic forced a temporary closure, the library continued serving thousands virtually – through online resources and digital media – despite the loss of fundraising to support operations. 

“Securing this funding is going to help the library continue serving our community by funding upgraded videoconferencing and social media platform accounts, equipment to boost Wi-Fi capabilities, and planned virtual summer reading and other virtual programming. Additionally, now that the library has reopened its doors, the grant will fund cleaning and sanitization supplies to ensure the safest possible environment for staff and visitors. It’s a great investment in a well-loved community institution.”  

The grant is part of package of $780,500 in emergency relief grants under the PHC CARES Program – funded by the CARES Act – to 140 state cultural nonprofits that have been impacted by the pandemic. The goal of the funding is to help sustain the state’s cultural infrastructure by supporting humanities programs and helping organizations adapt to site closures and the cancellation of in-person events. 

Award amounts ranged from $3,000 to $10,000 and were scaled to each organization’s average annual operating budget. The recipients are museums, historical societies, libraries and other vital cultural institutions in 57 counties, selected with an emphasis on equity and geographic diversity.  

The funding was distributed to states by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Today’s funding from the PHC CARES program complements the $2.4 million in CARES Act funding Pennsylvania previously received from the NEH.