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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Library closer to goal with grant from commerce department

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

The Kansas Commerce Department announced earlier this month that the Parker Library would receive a $49,000 grant to double the size of the facility. (File photo)

PARKER – The Parker Library (Linn County Library District No. 1) board got significantly closer to its goal of doubling the size of its building on Friday, Dec. 16, after the Kansas Department of Commerce’ Office of Rural Prosperity announced that the library would receive a grant of just over $49,000.

Lt. Gov. David Toland, who is also the Secretary of Commerce, announced that 61 recipients representing small communities across the state received nearly $2.7 million as part of the department’s new Strategic Economic Expansion and Development (SEED) grant program.

Earlier this fall there was about $72,000 in the library’s building fund already, according to Kay Bowman, library director, in October. The 40-foot-by-40-foot addition to the library has an estimated cost of $155,000, she said.

The SEED grant will give the board about $121,000. That doesn’t include the proceeds of a recent raffle that gave the winner a Kansas lifetime fishing and hunting license.

The board earlier this month started another raffle on a Henry Golden Boy .22 rifle with the drawing set for March 7.

The board has already received two bids to just enclose the 40-foot-by-40-foot addition, and both are less than $90,000.

The library currently is 40-foot-by-40-foot, and that space is, except for a table and a few chairs, packed with books, movie DVDs and magazines.

Bowman said that the addition would allow the library to have a meeting room for community groups, make better space for the children’s book collection, and allow the addition of a kitchen, restroom and storage area. That will also help as the library runs its summer reading program.

According to the Commerce Department, projects that received awards were required to be in communities with a population of 5,000 or fewer and projects must be completed within 12 months. They must be focused on economic development and revitalization through four categories:

  • Childcare and senior programming

  • Community vibrancy (making communities more attractive)

  • Providing better access to retail food establishments

  • Libraries

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