Timken representatives presented library officials with the check in November. The money will be used to renovate the library entrance; adult computing areas and book stacks; and to create a larger, separate teen area with computers, areas for book displays and additional work spaces.
Construction is projected to begin in 2010 and be completed within 4-6 months with minimal disruption to library services.
Timken Human Resources Manager Eric Holland praised library director Nancy Rosenwald and Jennifer Alexander, chairman of the Union Carnegie Library Board of Trustees, for their work in obtaining the grant from the foundation.
"It is extremely exciting to announce the awarding of this grant by the Timken Foundation to the Union Carnegie Library,” Holland said. "Investment in the local community is vital and the Union Carnegie Library is recognized as a valuable community resource in so many ways. I congratulate Nancy, Jennifer and the Carnegie Library Board of Trustees for their vision and their hard work to secure this funding for such a high impact and far reaching capital project. The Timken Foundation is proud to lend its support."
Mrs. Rosenwald thanked the foundation for its support of the library, pointing out because of state funding cuts, the library would not have been able to undertake the renovations without Timken’s help.
"The Timken Foundation grant will allow us to provide comfortable public areas that the library has needed for many years,” Rosenwald said “We can’t wait to see the positive results this grant will bring to our library and our community. The Timken Foundation has provided wonderful support to organizations bringing quality of life to Union County."
The grant caps of a year of both hardship and triumph for the library.
It has had to weather a second year of cuts in state funding while seeing local revenues reduced because of the ongoing economic downturn. It also, however, received national recognition earlier this year when Library Journal and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation named it “Best Small Library in America for 2009.”
The library was also honored by the S.C. General Assembly upon receipt of the award from Library Journal and the Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation awarded the library $15,000 which was used to purchase a new telephone system and make additional improvements.
The Timken Foundation is a private, family foundation begun by the Timken family in 1934. Since that time, the foundation has awarded more than $280 million in grants to public charities, including more than $1.1 million dollars in Union County since 2005. Grants are made to capital projects in Timken plant communities primarily in the areas of education, health and hospitals, civic and community, arts and culture and human services recreation.
Through the foundation, Timken has provided financial support for a number of other local organizations and donated the land for and gave $500,000 toward the construction of the Timken Park Sports Complex.