Libraries have a way of keeping up with the times. As technology has changed, so has the identity of community libraries, evolving into places to meet neighbors, learn a new craft or even apply for jobs.

Michelle Muller is interim director of the Goshen Public Library. She knows how vital libraries can be for a community. Since the library moved into a brand new building in 2019, it's expanded its offerings.

"One of the things that we have here that we've never had before is those study rooms and meeting rooms," said Muller. "We have people studying for the MCATS. We have people studying for the police exams."

What You Need To Know

  • 10 Orange County public libraries will receive $185,000 to enhance youth programming

  • State Sen. James Skoufis says he fought for the extra funding for local public libraries

  • Receiving funding are the Goshen Public Library, Warwick's Albert Wisner Public Library, Florida Public Library, Greenville Resource Center, Port Jervis Free Library, Cornwall Public Library, Greenwood Lake Public Library and Middletown’s Thrall Library

Even during the pandemic, when it couldn’t open its doors to the public, its staff was still there for the community.

"We had Wi-Fi reach out to our parking lot, so if parents were having trouble connecting at home for their Zoom lessons or for school, they could come and park in the parking lot," said Muller.

So when Muller found out the Goshen Public Library would be one of 10 Orange County libraries to receive funding for programming, she was thrilled.

"Christmas in September," said Muller. "To hear that wonderful news and to hear something so positive, and being able to give that back to the community, is really exciting."

State Sen. James Skoufis, alongside local library leaders, announced $185,000 from the state would go toward enhancing programming for 10 Orange County public libraries.

"During the budget this year, I really fought hard extra hard to try and bring back money, your tax dollars, to support our local libraries here in Orange County as it pertains to programming and especially youth programming," he said.

Now Muller and her team are planning on how they’ll use the funds to improve programs like author visits, literacy programs and events for visitors of all ages.

"We're looking forward to those kids being able to be inspired, to be able to write their own stories, to be able to continue to use stories as windows to new worlds," said Muller.