Southwick Public Library awarded federal grant

SOUTHWICK – Providing services to the community is one of the Southwick Public Library’s main functions, and a grant from Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners will expand the library’s resources.

The $7,500 grant under the Federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) which is funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, was among $350, 410 awarded to libraries across the Cmmonwealth.

The Southwick Public Library was awarded the LSTA Grant for Pathways to Success, which allows the library to provide job searching career assistance, from programs and resources to materials and services.

Southwick Public Library Director Lynn Blair (THE WESTFIELD NEWS SUBMITTED PHOTO)

“LSTA funds help us bring innovative programs to our library’s patrons” said Southwick Library Director Lynn Blair. “We are excited to expand our programming with these funds to provide educational opportunities for the town.”

With many people still receiving unemployment because of the COVID pandemic, and many businesses looking for employees, the grant comes at the perfect time to assist those searching for a job.

“This past year has shown us the importance of libraries to the communities they serve” said Robert Favini, head of Library Advisory and Development at the MBLC. “These grants allow libraries to address specific local needs. They demonstrate libraries’ commitment to serve all members of their communities, to education at any age, and to make local history accessible to everyone.”

In addition to the direct library grant program, the MBLC uses LSTA funds to support statewide programs and services including summer reading programs, research databases, the statewide eBook program, the Commonwealth Catalog and mass.gov/libraries which has information and resources for residents. LSTA is administered on the federal level by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in the Commonwealth by the MBLC.

More information about LSTA can be found on the Board’s website at www.mass.gov/mblc. According to a press release, IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Their mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. IMLS’ grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov.

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