Maine Libraries Benefit From Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation Grants

May 16, 2014

Several Maine libraries were the recipients of recent grants from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. According to a list compiled by the Maine State Library, at least nine libraries received funds during the latest round of grant awards from the foundation.

“The Kings have been very supportive of public libraries throughout the years,” said Linda Lord, Maine State Librarian. “They have supported libraries both large and small in every corner of the state. We are very fortunate to have the benefit of their generosity here in Maine.”

The types of projects funded include infrastructure upgrades, like a new roof or stairs, and renovation projects to improve existing space. One grant went to support the automation of a school library’s circulation and catalog systems. Recipients include:

  • Martha Sawyer Community Library (Lebanon, ME) $10,000 to improve shelving and add to their collection;
  • Chase Emerson Memorial Library (Deer Isle, ME) $50,000 to renovate the Children’s Room;
  • Shaw Public Library (Greenville, ME) $50,000 for renovations to the building;
  • Kezar Falls Circulating Library (Kezar Falls, ME) $40,000 to replace the slate roof;
  • Bingham Union Library (Bingham, ME) $4,000 to repair foundation;
  • Pembroke Library (Pembroke, ME) $45,000 to renovate the meeting room space;
  • Dorcas Library (Prospect Harbor, ME) $15,000 for building improvements;
  • Caribou Public Library (Caribou, ME) $15,000 for the replacement of front steps; and
  • Greenbush School Library (Greenbush, ME) $3,800 for automation.

“The funds come at a time when libraries are stretched thin in finances as well as space,” said Lord. “As demand grows for public access computers, wifi access, new programming and space for community activities, many Maine libraries have sought to renovate existing space to reflect these new priorities while preserving access to their collections.”

At the Dorcas Library in Prospect Harbor, a $15,000 grant will help pay for needed safety improvements in the wake of a November 2013 truck crash that caused extensive damage to the building.

“This is at least the third time that our library has been hit by a vehicle,” said Alison Johnson, president and treasurer of the Dorcas Library Board of Trustees and acting library director. “Part of these funds will be used to erect barriers to protect patrons, staff, and the facility itself from the risk of being hit again.”

The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation conducts two grant reviews each year with deadlines on June 30 and December 31. Applications can be submitted at any time, but will not be considered until after those deadlines. For more information, visit the foundation’s website at: www.stkfoundation.org.