In honor of its 40th anniversary celebration this year, the Friends of the Verona Public Library (FoVPL) has doubled the amount of scholarship money available to Verona residents completing their senior year in high school and continuing their education in the fall of 2023.
Now two $500 scholarships will be awarded to students who write eloquently in 500 words or less about how their experience with the community library has evolved since in-person learning and gathering has resumed after lockdown. Applicants are being asked to reflect on how they believe the global response to the pandemic and its aftermath have shaped the library’s role for the future. Do they see the library as primarily a place for learning, research, pleasure-reading or programming? Are there any resources offered by the Verona Public Library that are particularly important to them or to other teenagers?
Mindy Rosenthal, president of FoVPL, said the new theme treats students as the thought leaders they are becoming for our community. “The library is a living, breathing, evolving entity and often the heartbeat of the community, reflecting the needs and desire of the people it serves,” Rosenthal said. “We want to hear from our next rising generation of how this ever-evolving resource has impacted them and what they want for the future.”
FoVPL decided to offer a pair of scholarships this year to expand the impact, especially after the pandemic dealt such a financial blow to families.
“Some of kids’ fondest memories are the activities or things that took place within the walls of their public libraries,” Rosenthal said. “We recognize in these times every penny counts and we want to do something to support children as they take their next steps.”
Applications are available from local school guidance departments. Both applications and essays must be returned to guidance counselors as hard copies by Friday, May 19. No electronic submissions will be accepted.
Rosenthal added that the two scholarships also signify FoVPL’s 40 years of support for the town’s library and its patrons. FoVPL finances a variety of activities including yoga, Friday movie matinees, author talks, kids’ clubs, and the popular Museum Pass Program, which makes admission to many local and New York City museums free to Verona residents.