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Lockerbie victim's parents give $100,000 to library

| Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The parents of a Seton Hill College student who was killed in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, will donate $100,000 to the Scottdale Public Library.

Greensburg residents Carole and Glenn P. Johnson Jr., who said they have deep roots in Scottdale, donated $25,000 on Monday toward a new library building in memory of their daughter, Beth Ann Johnson, who died Dec. 21, 1988.

The Johnsons said the donation is the first of four installments they will give to the library, bringing the total to $100,000.

Beth Ann Johnson had been involved with libraries in many ways during her lifetime, her parents said.

She worked at the Seton Hill College library with her grandmother, who was the librarian there, and helped with the library renovation work in 1987.

Beth Ann also loved music, the theater and working with children, her parents said.

Her dedication led to the creation of the Beth Ann Johnson Reading Room at the Scottdale Public Library, which was established in 2000 with a $10,000 donation from her parents.

The Johnsons' donations, which includes $5,000 to the library for computer equipment last year, were "to help their financial need and our emotional need," Glenn Johnson said.

Library Director Patricia Miller said she wasn't surprised by the Johnsons' announcement of the $100,000 donation.

"Their generosity goes way beyond their bounds," Miller said.

Carole Johnson said the donation was mainly for her daughter, who she said was "every mother's dream." It also is for the library's board of directors, who want to provide the community a new, rent-free library, she added.

"This will benefit the community," she said.

The Johnsons' donation brought the fund for the new library to nearly $350,000, with the goal being at least $1 million.

Judy Ermine, president of the library's board of directors, said it will begin applying for grants for the library, which is expected to be three times larger than the original space.

The new library will be located on Spring Street at the former location of the YMCA building which was recently demolished, Ermine said.

The library board members hope to break ground within two years.

The library serves more than 12,000 residents of Scottdale Borough and East Huntingdon Township, as well as some Fayette County residents.

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