The Pawling Library Receives Two Grants from Dutchess County

The Pawling Library Receives Two Grants from Dutchess County

By Susan Stone


Brian Avery, Director of the Pawling Library, has recently announced that the Library has been awarded two grants worth a combined total of just over $80,000. $39,250 has been designated for children’s programming and $41,000 for a complete technology overhaul and upgrade. The Dutchess County grants are designated as an Agency Partner Grant and an Agency Partner Grant: Infrastructure.

The Pawling Library offers educational programs and events for children and adults of all ages. According to Mr. Avery, “For children 2 years to 8 years of age, and their families, our current programs focus heavily on simple activities and learning from our staff. This grant would allow us to incorporate into our programming some educators outside of our organization and some equipment and materials for hands-on learning.”

He continued, “A series of events with outside educators would be a new venture for us. We would choose to partner with educators who have experience developing the five key practices of early literacy: music, reading, playing, talking, and writing. These programs would target children age 8 and under, especially preschool. The series will focus on providing kids with literacy heroes, who will share their performance (music, talent, etc.) and chat with kids about why one or more of the five key practices is important to them.” In addition, the grant will be used to purchase equipment and materials that would be used to bolster existing programs while allowing the library to introduce new science and robotics kits into its homeschooling club and afterschool STEAM programs. The kits would expand the science-and-technology literacy components of the programs. Avery expounded on another particularly exciting component of this grant: “We would also add an indoor/outdoor block set and sensory play table that could be used across multiple programs, including ‘Read and Play,’ ‘Twodaloo Twos,’ ‘Toddlers in Training’ and ‘Kindergarten Readiness.’ Preschool-aged children, in particular, benefit from kinesthetic learning as a path to literacy.”

The second grant will provide for new public-use computers for children, teen, and adult patrons. These include specialized early-literacy computers for children, laptops for use during library programs, and machines for teens and adults to use independently. In addition to enabling the Library to purchase new computers, grant funds will be used to acquire new desks and chairs to be used with them, replacing the current furniture worn through over 30 years of use.

A major reason that the current furniture is so worn is that the public computers provide a core service of the library. According to Avery, “Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, patrons used our public computers over 750 times per month. During the pandemic, usage has slowed, but access to our computers has proven vital to those patrons who rely on the library’s computers and printers at a time when this technology has become essential to work, school, and access to government services.”

Finally, the Library will purchase a photo identification card printer, so that library cards may be issued that include a photo of the cardholder. Not only will this increase the security of patrons’ library accounts, it will also offer a form of photo identification to members of the community who might need one.

The Pawling Library has been a source of lifelong learning in the Pawling community for the last 100 years. Detailed information about program offerings and other services may be found on the Library’s website:


Author: Harlem Valley News