EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Emily Williston Memorial Library is starting a new chapter with the help of $50,000 in ARPA funding from the state.

Senator John Velis and State Rep. Dan Carey were joined by library staff Thursday morning for the announcement. The funding will help the library make some much-needed renovations to several areas of the building. These include fixing the gutters, leaking pipes, the entrance ramp, and shoring up the library shelves, some of which are more than 130 years old.

The director of the library told 22News, that the bulk of the money is being folded directly into their operating budget, to go toward things like paying salaries and making sure they’re fully staffed.

“The truth is so many grants want you to buy shiny things that stop working or stop being supported after a little while. So to have the opportunity to fold this money into our core services is exactly what I would – you know, any librarian anywhere is so thrilled to do.” Katya Schapiro, Director at Emily Williston Memorial Library

One of their main goals is to speak with more Easthampton residents to find out exactly what they need from their library, and how the staff can improve their services to meet the community’s needs.