March 25—SOMERSET, Pennsylvania—The Somerset County Library has received $10,000 in federal funds to introduce teens to the area’s cultural heritage, including a musical workshop that will have them build and play mountain instruments from Appalachian zither style.
The funds will also allow Somerset County Library to launch new book clubs, library officials said.
“We are delighted to be able to offer this program to our teenagers and adults with developmental difficulties,” said Elizabeth Hornig, assistant director of the library.
“This grant will allow our library to better serve our patrons and plan strong and rewarding humanities programs as we emerge from the pandemic.”
The Somerset County Library was one of 200 nationwide to secure funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the American Library Association’s “America’s Bailout”.
This will include dulcimer workshops for teenagers.
“Teens will discover their heritage, build a dulcimer and learn to play,” Hornig said of the stringed, fretted instrument, which hails from the Appalachian region.
A concert will follow, she said in a statement to the media.
Book clubs will include a “Book to Movie” club, allowing readers to discuss the differences in story formats.
Another, titled Next Chapter Book Club, will be designed for adults with developmental challenges, providing them with a “safe environment where they can learn and grow,” Hornig said.
“Libraries have faced significant challenges throughout the pandemic – from budget cuts to staff furloughs to building closures – especially in our communities that need them most,” said the president of the American Library Association, Patty Wong. “This crucial support from NEH will enable our beloved institutions and the dedicated people who lead them to rebuild and emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.”