CHICAGO – Libby Pollard and Melissa Fry are the winners of the 2012 American Library Association (ALA) Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant for the project entitled “Assessment of Non-Library Use at the Jeffersonville Township Public Library.”
The $3,000 grant supports innovative research that could lead to an improvement in library services to any specific group of people. The award was donated by Eric R. Baber, Newton, Kan., in honor of his father, who was library director at Kansas State Teachers College (now Emporia State University) for 27 years. Baber died in January 1991, leaving ALA an endowment to support the award in perpetuity.
The Carroll Preston Baber Award Jury received a number of applications, all of them very interesting. The focus of the award, however, is on a pressing national issue that is of importance to library service. Through the grant the winners will survey non-library users at the Jeffersonville Township Public Library and determine what services, programs, and resources the library can offer to meet their needs. “The committee believes that, in terms of immediate impact, this is a most compelling issue and its scope is national,” said jury chair Mary Pagliero Popp. “Every public library is grappling with ways to discover this information. The work will create a methodology that can be used by other libraries around the country. One of the public library members of the Jury noted that this research has the potential to be one of the most thorough examinations of non-users and their reasons for not using the library.”
Guidelines for the Baber Grant, including a list of previous winners, may be found by going to: http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/ors/orsawards/baberresearchgrant/babercarroll.cfm