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Central Library gets $150,000 grant to create 'reading park'

The Central Library's front lawn will be transformed into a new "reading park" by next spring thanks to a $150,000 national grant. The Buffalo and Erie County public library system was one of only three cities to be awarded the grant in a lengthy and competitive process from an original pool of 75 applicants across the country.

Southwest Airlines is funding the grants, in partnership with Project for Public Spaces.

"By next spring, you can expect the downtown Central Library to offer a vibrant outdoor space with free programs and activities that appeal to everyone,” said Executive Director Mary Jean Jakubowski.

The new reading park would include the library's 20,675 square-feet of green space and a 13,600 square-foot ramp. Aside from $150,000 for possible furniture purchases, landscaping and other renovations, Project for Public Spaces is also contributing free consulting services to help re-imagine the space. Library administrators will also collect public input on the new reading park's design.

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