Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that she secured $3,900,000 for the Friends of Veterans’ Memorial Library to build a new library for Patten in the Fiscal Year 2023 Agriculture appropriations bill.
The omnibus funding package passed the Senate by a vote of 68-29. It will now be passed by the House before heading to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“The Friends of Veterans’ Memorial Library are spearheading a tremendous project to reimagine the town’s library to serve the needs of Patten and the surrounding region in the 21st century. By building on the library’s core function as a book lender, offering computer literacy and workforce development programs, and serving residents and visitors of all ages, this project will help strengthen and grow the community,” said Senator Collins.
The funding will support the efforts by the Friends of Veterans’ Memorial Library to build a new library for the Town of Patten and surrounding residents, replacing the Veterans’ Memorial Library that was built in 1928.
The building that previously housed Patten’s Veterans' Memorial Library was closed in 2020, and the library has since been reopened in a temporary space at the Lumbermen’s Museum. Despite the current space limitation, the library provides National Digital Equity courses and trains volunteers through Educate Maine and Maine Math Science Alliance to offer coding as an after-school and/or summer program. In addition, the library established an electronic library card system.
The Friends have made significant progress toward building a larger, permanent home for the library to better serve the community. The new facility will provide more computer workshops for all age groups while also offering outdoor equipment such as mountain bikes, skies, snowshoes, etc., to community members as well as to tourists. Additionally, the Friends hope that the new facility can host small nutrition/cooking classes to youth to teach healthy habits.