Seventeen Maine Libraries Awarded Grants from Income Tax Check-off Fund

Augusta - Funding collected through the voluntary Maine Public Library Fund Income Tax Check-off program was awarded this week to 17 Maine public libraries to help develop innovative library programs and services and support professional development for library staff.

The grant projects ranged in size and scope from investments in creative technology such as 3-D printers, robotics equipment and virtual reality stations to the launch of summer reading programs, children’s yoga programming and library conference participation for staff. A panel of librarians from the Maine State Library selected the projects from a group of 38 proposals submitted by Maine libraries in March.

Awardees include:

  • Jay-Niles Memorial Library, Jay, ($5,000) to create a Makerspace Center at the Jay-Niles Memorial Library for Tweens and Teens where they can create, invent, and learn;
  • Berwick Public Library ($2,500) to develop a teen/tween robotics club;
  • Rockport Public Library ($2,500) to purchase a state-of-the-art Virtual Reality (VR) Station to develop programming leveraging educational materials from NASA, and others to provide patrons access to this exciting new technology;
  • Windham Public Library ($2,500) to expand and enhance educational technology tools for the Children’s Room;
  • Brooksville Free Public Library ($1,000) to support librarian participation in a national leadership institute;
  • Millinocket Memorial Library ($1,000) to develop a community film program with partner, Our Katahdin;
  • Bowdoinham Public Library ($1,000) to fund a portable bookshelf of picture books on the immigrant and refugee experience for Maine school and public libraries;
  • West Buxton Public Library ($1,000) to develop a makerspace and creative play area
  • Martha Sawyer Community Library, Lebanon, ($1,000) to develop a Lego architecture club for teens;
  • Acton Public Library ($1,000) to create an outdoor StoryWalk® family literacy project
  • Skidompha Public Library, Damariscotta, ($500) to support training for a children’s librarian to do yoga programming;
  • Kezar Falls Circulating Library ($500) to develop a community garden program for educational purposes and to help alleviate food insecurity;
  • Winter Harbor Public Library ($500) to develop a children’s summer reading program
  • West Paris Public Library ($500) to fund staff attendance at conferences;
  • Palermo Community Library ($500) to fund staff attendance at conferences;
  • Vassalboro Public Library ($500) to fund attendance to the Maine Library Association Conference; and
  • Parsons Memorial Library, Alfred, ($500) to fund paid performer during summer reading celebration.
  • The Maine Public Library Fund Income Tax Check-off allows Maine taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to support Maine public libraries on Maine Income Tax form Schedule C-P.

    “The generosity of Maine taxpayers through the tax check-off has helped Maine public libraries develop transformative programming and services that responds to the needs of their communities,” said Maine State Librarian James Ritter. “Many Maine libraries operate with very limited budgets and the grants from the Maine Public Library Fund have made many new things possible for these institutions and the people they serve.”

    The program funded seventeen similar projects in November 2016 and has supported significant growth in the Maine InfoNet library of downloadable e-books and audiobooks.

    For more information about the Maine Public Library Fund, visit: www.maine.gov/msl/libs/admin/funding/MPLF.shtml.