Mid-Hudson Library System
103 Market Street  |  Poughkeepsie, NY 12601  |  845.471.6060  |  fax 845.454.5940  |  http://midhudson.org



Joshua Cohen, Executive Director
Mid-Hudson Library System
845.471.6060 x17


Marion Mittler
Verizon Foundation

November 28, 2000

$60,000 Verizon Grant To Support Public Library Resource Centers
Electric Fundraising Information Effort Receives Funding

BEACON, NEW YORK – The Verizon Foundation and the Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS) announced today a $60,000 grant to fund the area’s Electronic Fundraising Information Centers.

The project is designed to enhance the access to electronic resources for community arts and human service agencies. Through their online application form the Verizon Foundation is a pioneer in the use of the Internet to reach out to local communities and other interested parties to help with fundraising efforts. However, many of the potential beneficiaries of the outreach effort may not have the necessary technology available to them to tap into the foundation’s resources. The local public library has been identified as the easiest, most accessible and user-friendly place for this need to be met.

“Verizon has a long history of reaching out to the communities we serve to offer financial and technological assistance to various organizations,” said Marion Mittler, Verizon community relations director for northeastern New York. “The Mid-Hudson Library System’s information centers will help us extend this reach to groups that might otherwise go unnoticed.”

The Mid-Hudson Library System, which represents a geographically diverse population with both urban and rural features, will support its member libraries in Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Putnam and Ulster counties to offer the most economical access to electronic information resources. Fundraising Information Center (FIC) Libraries have already been established in each county of the MHLS service area: Beacon, Chatham, Cairo, Mahopac and Marlboro. These centers were originally funded by Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) funds awarded to MHLS by the New York State Library for the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Service in 1999.

“We are pleased with the Verizon’s commitment to the communities in the Hudson Valley,” said Joshua Cohen, Executive Director of the Mid-Hudson Library System. “We hope other organizations will step forward to join Verizon in making this effort a success.”

This project is designed to emphasize the collaboration and cooperation among the library system’s five remote sites and the central site to share electronic resources, such as databases, customized web sites and expertise through web-based conferencing, much like another current initiative at the system, The Forum – an interactive, web-based discussion forum for library trustees, friends and volunteers to share information about fundraising for libraries. The Forum was funded through Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) funds awarded to MHLS by the New York State Library for the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Service in 2000. For more information visit: http://midhudson.org/virtual/efundraising/.

The enhanced electronic fundraising information centers at the five community libraries will fill a gap in service to local arts and human service agencies seeking funding information primarily accessible online, as well as provide access to online grant application requirements. The centers also will foster a supportive network of partners for fundraising and grant-making resources and expertise through technologies such as video conferencing, document sharing and online discussions.

Interviews and surveys of targeted community non-profit organizations reveal a need for this type of funding information and training. Public libraries have historically been identified as a gateway to information, making them a logical choice for this need to be met.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world’s leading providers of communication services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 95 million access lines and 25 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon’s global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.

ON THE INTERNET: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and biographies, news media contacts and other information are available at Verizon’s News Center on the World Wide Web www.verizon.com/news. To receive news releases by email, visit the News Center and register for personalized automatic delivery of Verizon news releases.