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SPRINGFIELD – The Hillsboro Public Library is the recipient of a $643,186 grant from the Illinois secretary of state’s office, State Senator Andy Manar announced Friday.

The grant was awarded through the Secretary of State’s Public Library Construction Grant program, a program designed to assist community public libraries with construction costs associated with their facilities.

Hillsboro is receiving the grant thanks in part to a push from Manar, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, during last spring’s budget negotiations.

“The value a quality public library brings to rural communities cannot be overstated. Growing up and living in a small town, I know how important this is. This renovation project in the newly acquired facility will provide Hillsboro and the surrounding area with a modern library space for community members to take advantage of,” Manar said. “I’m thankful for the continued efforts of the Hillsboro public library board and Secretary of State Jesse White for their commitment to the Hillsboro community.”

Funding for Public Library Construction grants is approved by the legislature each year to ensure proper maintenance of public libraries throughout the state. Grants are awarded to public libraries in need of repairs, those that seek to improve access for those with disabilities, and those requiring repaired facilities due to damage from natural causes. Manar first met with local leaders in July 2019 to tour both the existing library facility, the new facility that requires renovation, and discuss how the state can assist in local efforts.

“As our library continues the transition to serving communities beyond Hillsboro, this project couldn’t come at a better time,” Dr. Barb Mulch, Hillsboro Public Library Board of Trustees President said. “Our facilities have been in need of renovation for some time, due to accessibility issues. I’m thrilled we are one step closer to seeing a project that will have such a huge impact on our community come to life.”

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