Neal-Schuman Foundation Grants

About the Grants

Citizens-Save-Libraries Grants Will Target 20 Threatened Communities for Advocacy Training

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 pay for travel and fees to 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 began in January 2013, and the first 10 libraries were 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. 

As part of the program, a Citizens-Save-Libraries Power Guide, available to all, lays out a step-by-step blueprint for libraries to follow in generating their own campaigns. 

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.

Grant Requirements

  • Demonstrated need for help with a library advocacy campaign.
  • Minimum of five volunteers committed to working on a leadership team for a campaign. Each member understands that this commitment may require at least weekly meetings for up to 90 days.
  • Leadership team available for two days of on-site, in-person training (approximately 4-5 hours each day) between June 1, 2013-May 1, 2014.
  • One member of the leadership team is willing to become a local “mentor” for other libraries in the state and/or region. Mentor may be invited to participate in a one-time live one hour webinar and may also be asked to give an advocacy program at state library conference.
  • Support of the library’s Board of Trustees and support of the library director.
  • Applicants may be asked to participate in a 15-minutes conference call with United for Libraries staff that includes the applicant, the library director, and the president of the Board of Trustees.
  • No member of the United for Libraries' Board of Directors or his or her library will be eligible to receive this grant.

Cycle 1 Grants

The Cycle 1 Grant recipients are:

  • Clarkston (Mich.) Independence District Library
  • Eisner Memorial Library (Red Bank, N.J.)
  • Friends of the Dallas (Texas) Public Library
  • Friends of the Long Beach (Calif.) Public Library
  • Gladstone (Ore.) Public Library
  • Gilmanton (N.H.) Year-Round Library
  • Josephine Community Libraries (Grants Pass, Ore.)
  • Pomona (Calif.) Public Library
  • Salem-South Lyon (Mich.) District Library - Read about the landslide victory for the library's millage!
  • Winona (Minn.) Public Library

Cycle 2 Grants

The Cycle 2 Grant recipients are:

  • Berks County (Pa.) Public Libraries
  • North Hampton (N.H.) Public Library
  • Santa Maria (Calif.) Public Library
  • Shepherdstown (W.V.) Public Library
  • Public Library of New London (Conn.)
  • Calaveras County (Calif.) Library
  • Highland (Utah) City Library
  • Wicomico Public Library (Salisbury, Md.)
  • Stockton (Calif.)-San Joaquin County Public Library System
  • Oakland (Calif.) Public Library

Please note that grant recipients do not receive any direct funds. The funds are administered by United for Libraries and disbursed directly to the professional consultants to cover their fees and expenses for providing the two days of on-site advocacy training at each library.