One library director’s first day on the job turned out to be quite a pay day after he learned that $50,000 was suddenly coming the library's way.

Hyde Park Library Director Jesse Chance has only been in the gig for two months, and came on board with some big ideas for the bookshelves.

“Interestingly enough, one of the first things I saw in my email on my first day on the job was an email about a grant from the Dutchess County Legislature,” said Chance. “I had the inspiration that we could create a Maker’s Space, and I applied.”

The Hyde Park Library is one of ten organizations receiving funds from the Dutchess County Learn, Play, Create initiative this time around, with the total amount reaching over $280,000. The program was established to enhance the lives of children adversely affected by COVID-19.

What You Need To Know

  • Hyde Park Library received $50,000 to create a Makers Center with high-end technology for students

  • Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro is handing out grants through the Learn, Play, Create initiative

  • More grants will be awarded Wednesday morning

Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro decided what organizations would receive the grants.

“We wanted to be sure these resources got to kids,” said Molinaro. “At the end of the day, the library, the not-for-profit, is simply the vehicle to get this investment into young people.”

Chance plans on doing just that by providing a Maker’s Space for a local high school’s student newspaper. Their “collaboratory” will house state-of-the-art editing software and audio equipment, computers and a 3-D printer that will allow the team to create their product.

“In conversations with the high school, we learned they hadn’t been able to put out a newspaper in years because they didn’t have the space or resources,” said Chance. “I thought that would be a great thing for us to do.”

Chance also mentioned that community members and organizations will also be able to take advantage of the resources for a small fee for supplies.

The Dutchess County executive’s office plans to announce another round of grants on Wednesday, this time totaling over $250,000. They will go to youth sports, theater and music organizations or other libraries.

Back at the Hyde Park Library, chance plans on renovating a section of the library built in the 1960’s to make it feel like a more of a community space.

“I’m dreaming big," said Chance. "I want to create a big space, a useful space, for the Hyde Park Community."