Baldwin Borough Public Library and Baldwin Borough awarded $500,000 Keystone Grant for Renovation of Leland Center as New Community Library
Grant award comes on top of $300,000 commitment from Baldwin Borough Council, providing momentum for project
Pittsburgh, PA March 17, 2017– Baldwin Borough Public Library and Baldwin Borough have been awarded a $500,000 Keystone grant to renovate Baldwin’s Leland Center building into a new community library.
Baldwin Borough and Baldwin Library will collaborate to renovate Leland Center to create a comfortable, welcoming space with updated technology and digital lending materials that respond to the different ways patrons use the library. The focus will be on renovating the interior space of the first floor and improving handicapped accessibility.
“We are delighted that the Department of Education approved our grant request,” commented library director Jennifer Worley. “We now have the opportunity to design a modern community library and gathering space for the Baldwin community.”
Library officials stated that the renovation will allow the library to increase programming, and facilitate more educational, recreational and cultural opportunities for residents. The design incorporates separate areas for adults and children, and ensures that staff can continue providing high quality service to library patrons.
“We are also grateful for our partnership with Baldwin Borough Council, and thankful to the elected officials and community partners who endorsed our application,” stated Worley. “This project is truly a group effort.”
John Barrett, manager of Baldwin Borough also expressed his excitement for the collaboration, “Baldwin Borough is looking forward to working with the Library to transform Leland Center from a seldom used community center into a thriving public library."
A project budget and timetable still need to be finalized, although officials are eyeing a project start date of late this year. Planning is underway to identify additional sources of funding needed to support the project.
The Baldwin Library is one of 27 libraries across the state awarded grant money from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Pennsylvania Department of Education, with funds provided from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund. Grants are used to rehabilitate or update library facilities.
“Pennsylvania’s public libraries are an incredibly valuable resource to communities, a safe haven that provides access to knowledge, information, and even unimagined new worlds, all for nothing more than the swipe of a card,” said PA Governor Tom Wolf in a press release announcing the grant. “As we make investments in teachers and students, we must also continue to invest in our libraries, as they serve as both a resource and an escape to all patrons, no matter their age, background, or which city or town they call home.”
Established in 1964, the Baldwin Library’s mission is to be the community’s destination for discovery, enrichment and life-long learning. The library currently serves 19,767 residents with a 25,000-item collection. Annual circulation is 52,000.