A grant and loan from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development announced recently brings an expansion project at the Blue Rapids Public Library to nearly 90% funding for the $241,000 effort. Adding an additional 700 square feet to the original 1895 structure would nearly double the libraries current size. The added space would serve books and technology, along with youth and community educational programs. Existing library funds, as well as a request from Edwin Brychta will be combined with the $50,000 USDA grant, and $40,000 loan. The limestone addition on vacant ground just north of the building would complement the existing facility, which remains the oldest library in continuous use west of the Mississippi River, and is listed on the state and national historic registers.