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Holyoke Library receives state grant extension

Date: 12/16/2009

HOLYOKE Terry Plum, president of the Holyoke Public Library Board of Directors, has reported that the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners has approved the Holyoke Library's request for an extension of their previously approved $4.4 million construction grant. The Holyoke Public Library was one of 17 public libraries from throughout the state receiving extension from Dec. 31, 2009 to June 15, 2010.

In Holyoke, as in most cases, the extension was requested to allow additional time for the libraries to secure the essential local funding required by the state to be eligible to receive state funds. In Holyoke, library directors, the Library Building Committee, Friends of the Library and a professional fund-raising group are all moving forward in their efforts to obtain the necessary funds to achieve their goal of "a 21st Century Learning Center."

The Holyoke Public Library has been actively pursuing ways to raise funds for the project and currently has had more than 2,400 local citizens sign a petition in support of a new library. The petition is available in both English and Spanish and has already been signed by comparable numbers of each group. Part of the text of the petition calls for "a full array of services and programs for all Holyoke residents, from infants to school children and other students, to seniors, and the business community." The petition, which was initiated by the Friends of the Holyoke Public Library and its' Hispanic counterpart, Unidas por Nuestra Biblioteca, also notes that "the library's current 107-year-old building can no longer meet our city's needs for information and educational support."

In its effort to assist local libraries the Board of Library Commissioners has granted extensions to a total of 17 libraries throughout the state, including Belchertown, Granby and Ware in the Western Massachusetts area.