Community Library of the Shenango Valley, Stey-Nevant Library win state grants

HARRISBURG, Jan. 8 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced that two local libraries will receive state grants totaling nearly $83,000.


The Community Library of the Shenango Valley will receive $53,150 and the Stey-Nevant Public Library in Farrell will receive $27,656.


The Community Library of the Shenango Valley plans to make the front entrance and restrooms handicapped accessible, Longietti said. Stey-Nevant Library, Longietti said, will use the grant to replace old light fixtures, which use bulbs that are no longer being manufactured, with modern, energy-efficient lighting and replace back doors, which have become worn and are difficult to latch securely.


"These libraries are important community resources, and I’m pleased that the state will be providing much needed assistance to make these upgrades," said Longietti, who wrote a letter of support for the libraries’ grant applications.


Stey-Nevant Librarian Margaret Orchard and Frank Gargiulo, board president for the Community Library of the Shenango Valley, welcomed the news.


"This is the answer to my prayers," Orchard said. "It will certainly make a difference in the look of the library."


"Our board and staff thank the state for viewing the project worthy of funding," Gargiulo said. "We appreciate the work and support of all those who contributed to this effort."


The grants were awarded through the Keystone Fund Grant Program for Public Libraries.


The grant program was created in 1993 when the General Assembly passed legislation to establish the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund. The Pennsylvania Department of Education, through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, administers the public library portion of the program. It awards competitive grants to help fund construction grants to municipalities that sponsor state-aided public libraries. Grants pay up to half the eligible costs in planning, acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of public libraries. A dollar-for-dollar match is required for grant funds received.