By Steve Jones, Staff writer

Enhanced lighting, added building security and upgrades to the microfilm machines at Jervis Public Library are being made possible through a $25,608 grant from the Rome Community Foundation, according to Foundation President David C. Grow.

The grant money, awarded through the Foundation’s Stevens-Kingsley Fund and the General Endowment Fund, is earmarked for new, more comfortable lighting in the auditorium that will reduce energy consumption; new security doors with keypad access to the non-public area used by staff; and a retrofit of three microfilm reader printers that will upgrade service provided by the machines.

"Since its opening in 1895, the Jervis Public Library has effectively served as a major public information center for the city of Rome and its neighboring communities," Grow said. "Recognizing that the library provides many services to residents of all ages, the Rome Community Foundation is very pleased to provide financial assistance that enables the library to continue operating as a premier educational institution in upstate New York."

Lisa M. Matte, director of the library since 2005, said the grant from the Foundation will help the library reach its long-term goals. "We remain committed to providing library services, facilities, equipment, and materials that reflect the needs and desires of the community. In addition, we strive to ensure that physical facilities and equipment are well maintained in order to provide a safe, accessible, and comfortable environment for library patrons and staff."

The library is a non-profit educational institution chartered by the New York State Board of Regents, as well as a founding member of the Mid-York Library System. There are 50 towns, villages and cities represented in Jervis’ circulation and library card registrations.

More than 218,000 patrons visited the library in 2010, with a daily average of 652. During the same year, approximately 6,900 people attended 267 library-sponsored programs and events for children, teens and adults.

The library is named after John Bloomfield Jervis, a Rome resident and prominent American civil engineer whose projects included the Erie Canal and the Croton Aqueduct. He bequeathed funds, property and his personal collection of books and papers for the purpose of establishing a library facility for the community. Ten years after his death in 1885, his home became Rome’s public library.

For further information about services offered at the Jervis Public Library, call 336-4570 or visit

The Rome Community Foundation provides financial assistance to non-profit organizations and institutions for specific projects that benefit the Rome area. It also accepts individual donations, memorial contributions, and bequests from a variety of sources. For details, go online to