Blair Public Library Foundation receives nearly $5 Million from USDA for a New Public Library

Vicki Schurman
Release Date
May 20, 2015

USDA Rural Development has awarded $4,972,000 to the Blair Public Library Foundation.  To date the Foundation has raised $2 million and within the next three years will contribute a balance of $500,000 with pledges collected through the three year capital campaign.  The Foundation also has received a Tourism Grant of $375,000 from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and $250,000 from the City of Blair for a new public library.  Total project cost is $7,559,000.

“Being able to fund our project through the USDA has been an amazing opportunity.  The USDA Rural Development program has been wonderful to work with, and we couldn’t be more proud of this project and the positive impact it will have on the City of Blair and surrounding communities,” said JoEllen Maras, Blair Public Library Foundation.

“USDA funds will be used to construct a new single story, 27,000 square foot public library,” said Community Programs Specialist Janice Stopak, USDA Rural Development. “The new facility will provide a state-of-the-art technology center, expanded collection and staff areas, and multi-use meeting spaces.  The facility will also house the Danish American Archive Library.”

USDA Rural Development funding is being provided through the Community Facility Direct Loan program.  For more information visit or contact Community Programs Specialist Janice Stopak at 402-437-5743 or

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.