By CHANSE WATSON
OSBURN — With the help of recent grant funding, the more than 60-year-old Osburn Public Library has acquired close to 100 new children’s books to add to its shelves this September.
Osburn library director Phyllis Keenan says that a total of 94 books, tailored to children ages 1 to 13 years old, were added to their collection through the combined efforts of the library’s staff and local supporters to qualify for the grant.
“This grant gives us a chance to get the books because we don’t have that big of a budget,” she said.
Provided by the Pilcrow Foundation (formerly Libri), the grant is available every three years and is awarded based on several characteristics such as financial needs, population, proximity to urban communities, available children’s library programs, and number of children who visit the library and check out books.
The grant also requires the applying library to put up one third of the funds, which it will then match 2 to 1. In the case of the Osburn library, they received $800 for the new books after local supporters chipped in an initial $400.
Seventy-one of the 94 books received were covered by the Pilcrow Foundation’s grant and were general children’s books. The other 23 included math and science books and were paid for by generous friends of the library. All of the books were acquired through the foundation’s Children’s Book Project.
On top of allowing them to expanded their stock, Keenan is also excited about the grant covering higher-quality texts (both in sturdiness and content).
“(The grant) gives (the kids) some of the more expensive books than I can’t usually buy,” she explained. “I usually have to go paperback, these are all hardbacks. So it does make it so they last longer and they are usually some type of award winning book.”
In the 12 years that Keenan has been director, the library has applied and qualified for the grant four times in a row. This continuous support allows her and the library to provide resources to many local children who simply don’t have access to them at home.
“It gives a chance for the children, who especially in the summertime don’t have access to books or the money to buy books, to have these books and take them home and get them in their hands.”
The money saved on these books also allows the library to put their limited funds into expanding other projects.
Most of the new books will be available for check out within a week or two, as they still need to be covered and placed on the shelves.
A few select books will be introduced during a weekly story time at the library, located at 921 Mullan Ave., starting Thursday, Sept. 6. These free story times will go from 11 a.m. to noon and reoccur every Thursday.
For questions or more information, call the Osburn library at 208-752-9711.