Boosters of the planned Sherman Library received happy news this week.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced Monday $500,000 in state money would be made available for the facility's expansion.

The governor said the money, expected to be approved when the state Bond Commission meets Tuesday, July 13, would be paired with a previous $500,000 state grant awarded in 2005.

The cumulative $1 million Library Construction Grant will help the Sherman Library Association more than double the library's space.

The total $3.2 million project will add 7,300 square-feet of space.

"The current library is simply bursting at the seams," Gov. Rell said. "There is no room for meetings. It is crowded and -- a cardinal sin for libraries -- it is noisy. The need for more room is clear."

The library expansion has been on the table since before 2001 when Building Committee chairman Clay Cope joined the Board of Trustees.

In 1999, the board had evaluated what was needed to meet the future needs of the community. Library director Millie Loeb had a vision of what the library could be when she took her position in 1997.

"This is the best news I could get," Mrs. Loeb said Monday. "Its means we can move forward with the project. The new facility will provide space for children's programing, quiet reading, and a wonderful, new programing room inside the present barn."

Mr. Cope concurred.

"It's very, very exciting," he said. "It's answered prayers. Governor Rell's appreciation of the importance of a library in a small town and State Sen. Michael McLachlan's dedication to this community worked together to make this happen. We are blessed."

Sen. McLachlan attended the Sherman Library's volunteers' brunch three weeks ago, Mr. Cope said.

On seeing the library's needs and hearing what the expansion will provide for the community, the legislator most likely went back and spoke to the governor, renewing her interest in the project, Mr. Cope said.

"With the state's budget crisis, we never took this for granted," Mr. Cope said of the expanded grant recommendation. "We're so grateful the governor is making this recommendation. Her comments show she knows about the Sherman Library, about its charms and its shortcomings."

The town has approved a $1 million bond toward the project.

Smaller grants totaling $110,000 have been received and $1 million in pledges have been made by patrons.

If approved by the Bond Commission, the total Library Construction Grant would provide an additional $1 million.