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Scottdale Public Library receives Keystone award

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Scottdale Public Library was honored with the Keystone 20th Anniversary Award in a recent ceremony in Harrisburg. Among those on hand were, from left, state Rep. Deberah Kula, Patti Miller, library director; Rhonda Allison, library children's director, and Carole Hunker, a member of the library's board of directors.

The Scottdale Public Library won the Keystone 20th Anniversary Award for an exemplary library project funded by the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.

The award was presented to the Scottdale Public Library at the state Capitol in Harrisburg recently as part of a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Keystone Fund. The award was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition, Pennsylvania Land Trust Association, Pennsylvania Library Association, Pennsylvania Parks & Recreation Society, and Preservation Pennsylvania.

“For more than two decades, the Keystone Fund has been helping communities protect open space, develop community parks and recreation areas, support libraries, preserve historic sites, and protect and improve our state game, forest, and park lands,” said presenter Robert Griffith, former executive director of the Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society and one of the original Keystone champions. “This project demonstrates that investments in the Keystone Fund help make real and lasting improvements in our communities.”

The Scottdale Public Library received $500,000 in Keystone funds to help build a new 10,000 square foot, $1.3 million library in the heart of the downtown on the site of the former YMCA. Construction of the new and expanded building allowed the library to end an expensive lease for outdated space and to begin serving two nearby townships that were unserved previously.

The new handicapped-accessible library — featuring 12 computer stations, a teen room, a community room and a garden — truly serves as the community center of Scottdale and the region.

“Access to educational information and cutting edge technology is important to the success and well-being of all Pennsylvanian's, young and old,” said Patricia Miller, Scottdale Public Library director. “Because of the Keystone Fund, the Scottdale Public Library now offers residents of Scottdale and the region improved access for users of limited mobility, high-tech computers and internet, and a designated teen space.”

Awardees received a special wood plaque to be displayed at the site of their project.

The Keystone Recreation, Park & Conservation Fund is a critical dedicated funding source for recreation and conservation projects, libraries, historic preservation initiatives and higher education.

Established in 1993 with an overwhelmingly approved voter referendum, a 48-0 vote in the Pennsylvania Senate and a 196-3 vote in the House, the Keystone Fund automatically receives 15 percent of the state's realty transfer tax. Since its establishment, the fund has helped conserve more than 154,000 acres of green space, supported more than 1,900 park projects, and funded 570 historic preservation projects and more than 200 library projects.