James V. Brown Library seeks state funds for renovation

The James V. Brown Library applied for a Keystone Grant for Public Library Facilities through the state Department of Education for its $80,000 adult circulation renovation project.

If awarded, the library will receive $40,000 from the grant that will match the $40,000 it will contribute to the project.

Changes to the space would include one central information desk instead of two and a more accessible environment for people of all abilities, library Executive Director Barbara McGary said during the board of trustees meeting Thursday.

The desk will be lower than the current ones to allow people using wheelchairs to be at eye level with the librarian, she said.

Also poles that create difficulty for people to maneuver around will be removed.

The library will be notified in mid-February if it will receive the grant.

In other business, McGary said the library has requested a 4 percent increase in funding from the Lycoming County commissioners.

The library has not seen an increase in state aid since 2009, so it is looking for an increase in its annual county allocation because of an increase in health insurance and other costs, she said.

She said it is important for local dollars to support the local library.

Board member and county Commissioner Rick Mirabito said people should call the commissioners’ office to tell the officials the public wants to see an increase in library funding.

“Money is tight, but it doesn’t hurt for people to call the commissioners and show support for the library,” he said.

The library raised $26,000 during its annual author gala fundraiser on Oct. 6.

The Friends of the James V. Brown Library are having a drive-through book collection from noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 29 on State Street.

Board members in attendance were Thomas Burkholder, John Confer, Gloria Z. Greevy, Trisha Gibbons Marty, Mirabito, Mayor Gabriel J. Campana, Dr. Timothy S. Bowers and Harold Hershberger Jr. Linda Desmond was absent.