United for Libraries secures $75,000 from Neal-Schuman Foundation

For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/25/2012

Contact:

Jillian Kalonick
Marketing / Public Relations
United for Libraries (United)
800-545-2433 ext.2160
jkalonick@ala.org

Citizens-Save-Libraries grants will target 20 threatened communities for advocacy training

PHILADELPHIA — United for Libraries has secured $75,000 from the Neal-Schuman Foundation to support library advocacy at the local level for libraries with troubled budgets. The Citizens-Save-Libraries grants will send expert advocates to 20 locations over the course of two years to help friends of the library groups, library directors and trustees develop individual blueprints for advocacy campaigns to restore, increase or save threatened library budgets.

“The Neal-Schuman Foundation is thrilled to provide funding for the ‘Citizens-Save-Libraries’ training grants and power tools,” said Patricia Glass Schuman. “Today, more than ever, libraries need articulate and savvy supporters.  Not only will the 20 libraries chosen benefit from the efforts of trained, savvy and articulate supporters, the resources developed will help advocates in communities across the country speak out loudly, proudly and effectively. This is the largest grant in the foundation's history, and it is our final one. We will disband at the end of this year.”  

“This gift is especially meaningful to me coming, as it does, from the Neal-Schuman Foundation,” said United for Libraries Executive Director Sally Gardner Reed. “Pat Schuman has left a tremendous legacy for library advocacy over the course of her career.  I’m proud to have the Neal-Schuman name and generous resources attached to our efforts to provide support for communities fighting for their libraries.”

The opportunity to apply for expert consultation will begin in January 2013, and the first 10 libraries will be selected in April.  Among the criteria to apply will be a willingness of recipient libraries to “pay it forward” by sharing what they learn with others in their states through presentations at local conferences, articles written for the state library association journal and a willingness to answer questions and support other advocacy campaigns via digital media and Skype.  Details on applying will be available on the United for Libraries website in early 2013.

In order to leverage the grant across the country, a power guide will be developed that will be freely available to all that will lay out a step-by-step blueprint for libraries to follow in generating their own campaigns.  In addition, United for Libraries will hold train-the-trainer workshops using the guide at Midwinter Meetings in 2014 and 2015.

The Neal-Schuman Foundation, established in 2000 by Neal-Schuman Publishers' founders Patricia Glass Schuman and John Vincent Neal, strives to aid and promote charitable research and education for the improvement of libraries. An active American Library Association member and past president (1991-92), Schuman founded the Library Advocacy Now program and co-founded the Library Champions program.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association that supports citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. United for Libraries brings together library Trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information or to join United for Libraries, visit the United for Libraries website or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or jkalonick@ala.org.

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