April 27, 2020

BAPL Receives Laros Grant

The Bethlehem Area Public Library was one of twenty-five City organizations to receive a $2,000 grant from the R.K. Laros Foundation last week. Unlike the typical Laros grants which are awarded for lasting capital projects (such as BAPL’s Cohen Room renovations), this special grant focuses on operational expenses.

Many non-profits are facing an uncertain future as the COVID-19 crisis has cancelled fundraisers and challenged budgets in extraordinary ways. “The library is being forced to adapt, as we are all,” says BAPL Executive Director Josh Berk. “We are so grateful to the Laros Foundation for their extraordinary generosity.”  Berk notes that this grant will allow the library to continue to offer excellent programming for children, families, and adults, including an online summer reading program designed to keep students engaged in learning (remotely) over the summer months.

Russell K. Laros III, Chair of the Laros Foundation, cites his grandfather’s generosity as inspiration for this gift. “We take great inspiration for this emergency effort from our founder, my grandfather, Russell K. Laros,” he says. “R. K. Laros was an extraordinarily compassionate man who cared deeply for his employees and his community, even amidst the Great Depression. I am confident that if he were with us today, he would be first in line to do whatever he could for the community during this present crisis.”

BAPL’s innovative programs, largely underwritten by the generous volunteers and donors that comprise The Friends of the Library, have been expanding online over the past weeks, and will continue to do so in service of the community we share. Visit bapl.org/events/categories/virtual-events to learn more.