The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund 2022 Grants
The American Library Association (ALA) has provided $1.55 million in emergency relief grants to 77 libraries that have experienced substantial economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. Through the ALA COVID Library Relief Fund, grantees representing academic, public, school, and tribal libraries have received grants of $20,000 to support library services and operations.
The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund represents a significant non-federal grant opportunity for libraries. The funds support libraries' efforts to increase and enhance technology access, collection development, digital instruction, staffing, and outreach, while maintaining and amplifying existing services through the end of 2022.
The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund is supported by Acton Family Giving as part of its ongoing response to the pandemic. "We truly appreciate the continued generous support from Acton Family Giving to help so many libraries provide needed services to traditionally underserved communities across the country.” said ALA President Patty Wong. “These grants will allow so many libraries to have a critical impact on those who depend on them during these challenging times.”
Aromas San Juan Unified School District – California
At Anzar High School Library over 80% of the learner community consists of lower income Latinx students. Budget cuts forced the elimination of a clerk position which meant the library could only be open for two and a half days, impacting students who rely on staff and infrastructure for academic support. The hiring of a part-time clerk will open the library five days a week, including afterschool hours for tutoring and additional support. New audiobooks will support literacy goals for English language learners as well as for the summer reading program.
Ashland Independent Schools – Kentucky
Hager Elementary School is a Title 1 School in a small town in Kentucky with over 70% of students eligible for free or reduced lunch. The school’s library has faced a reduction of over 30% in funding from pre-pandemic levels. This has impacted collections and technology, especially a library-based STEM class for grades K-3. Funding will be used to grow the collection and provide a makerspace. Collection growth will focus on books that offer a window into an array of perspectives. Up to date nonfiction books will be purchased to tie into the STEM programming.
Barren County Public School District – Kentucky
Barren County is in rural central Kentucky where 85% of the students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. The pandemic resulted in cuts of 33% for the library programs at the nine schools in the district. The grant will be used to rebuilt the collections at high school, middle school, and seven elementary schools with high quality reading materials that will cover a wide-range of interests that will engage the students to increase literacy proficiency and overall academic performance
Byron Public Schools – Minnesota
Four schools from K-12 educate 2,200 students. With cuts of 20% in 2021 and an additional 20% for this year, library staff have been challenged to maintain programs and upgrade collections. The grant will provide social-emotional learning materials for teachers to assist struggling students, new books for the successful second grade reading club, and increase the diversity of books at the Intermediate, Middle, and High School. Playaway audiobooks will make higher-level material accessible to struggling, reluctant, or lower-level readers.
Defiance City Schools – Ohio
Defiance City Schools serves a rural community in Ohio. 51% of middle school students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. The library operating budget faced a 31% reduction in the level of funding. Budget cuts compounded from March 2020 to the present academic year resulting in a reduction in staffing and a freeze in improving technology and collections. Grant funding will be used on resources and updating dated holdings. Up-to-date books will be purchased to support the curriculum, social and emotional learning, and the district’s diverse population. Books not returned due to the pandemic related remote learning will be replaced and all fines will be forgiven.
Downingtown Area School District – Pennsylvania
Downingtown West High School Library, located in a borough of 7,500, was highly trafficked pre- pandemic. The library is just re-opening to a normal schedule after two years. The budget has just been cut again and is 25% lower than in the past. With the challenge to re-engage students the grant will be used to make an earlier proposed Innovation Lab a reality with new technology and flexible furniture. The Lab will benefit those facing disadvantages in non-traditional and digital learning.
East Peoria Community High School – Illinois
East Peoria Community High School Library in Illinois serves a student population who are 53% eligible for free or reduced lunch. The library has faced an over 50% reduction in funding from pre-pandemic levels. This budget reduction has resulted in new book purchases being reduced by half and not being able to fund ebook purchases. Prior to the pandemic, the school’s library served as the center of school life. Funding will support book processing and management, makerspace supplies, new books, ebooks, audiobooks, and replacing books lost during the pandemic. New acquisitions will focus on integrating martials and provide important cultural and informational literacy.
Beaver is a small town in rural Ohio and the Eastern Local School District serves all grades K-12 and serves as the primary library for all young people. 17% of students test as not ready to enter school on the Kindergarten Assessment. Library budget was reduced by approximately 25% due to the pandemic. A large portion of the budget goes to reading support, but funding is not available for books, supplies and equipment. Grant funding will be used for re-establishing the library of physical books with a focus on emergent readers to support Ohio’s Third-Grade Reading Proficiency Assessment. Funding will also be used to support ebooks to support an ebooks collection. Every student in the district has a hotspot and a Chromebook™, and this digital collection will complement the existing technology.
Jefferson Montessori Academy – New Mexico
Serving a large Latinx population from lower income brackets, 56% eligible free or reduced lunch, all the school’s resources were spent moving to remote learning during the pandemic leaving the library with a minimal budget. With the grant the library will expand access for students with new reference databases and eBooks in science and social science that will also allow for more cross-curricular projects.
Knowlton Township School District – New Jersey
Knowlton Township is a small rural community of 3,000 in northeast New Jersey, bordering Pennsylvania. Over 15% of students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. Drastic state cuts to the district and shifting resources for PPE during the pandemic has challenged the Knowlton Elementary School Library to continue online subscriptions, add new resources and assist students who need new technology. The grant will ensure access to electronic reference tools, update outdated non-fiction resources, diversify the collection, and provide student laptops.
Lincoln County School District – Missouri
Powell Memorial Library operates as a branch of the Lincoln County R-3 School District, functions as a public library in rural Lincoln County where 35% of students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. State cuts have limited hours and programs. With a focus on reaching families with kids 0-10, the grant will provide additional staff, more open hours in the evening, additional story-times for babies, toddlers, and preschool, and Peabody STEAM kits and the Sprouts Early Learning backpacks to loan out.
Colegio Marista "El Salvador" Manatí – Puerto Rico
The Lolín Collazo Library is designed to support nearly 600 students and 50 faculty from kindergarten through high school from 10 spread out municipalities. The pandemic forced the library budget to be cut in half reduced hours and services for the last two years. The pandemic highlighted the need to provide remote access to library resources. Through the grant the library will join the non-profit COBIMET consortia in Puerto Rico allowing students to access remotely multidisciplinary database with resources that adjust to their information needs.
Monroe County School District – Kentucky
Rural Monroe County struggles with “persistent poverty” with 95% of the district student body eligible for free and reduced lunch. Reductions in state funding during the pandemic has cut the library budget for the 275 students from Head Start to fifth grade at the Joe Harrison Carter Elementary by 35%. The library’s collection, technology, and furniture were already outdated. The grant will purchase over 300 new books, computers, laptops, makerspace kits, new tables, and chairs.
New York City Public Schools – New York
The Adlai E. Stevenson Educational Campus in the Bronx has over 2,500 students with many economically disadvantage including those experiencing homelessness. With budget cuts to the library and elimination state level technology funding the library was unable move to learning commons model. Providing students with computers for whole-class learning small-group practice, and independent learning in collaboration with teachers. The grant will provide the needed computers that will complement hands-on maker-space activities.
The Palmas Academy – Puerto Rico
The Palmas Academy serves a small community in Humacao with students of whom 83% are eligible for free and reduced lunch. The library operating budget has faced a reduction of over 70% from pre-pandemic levels due to Hurricane Maria and the COVID19. Palmas Academy was directly impacted by Hurricane Maria resulting in a loss and damage in collections. Grant funding will support a reestablishment of the collections of the library and will also be used for tablet workstations for students, faculty, staff, and the greater community.
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools – Michigan
Canton is a far west suburb of Detroit, Michigan and Field Elementary School serves a diverse population where 38% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. The budget for collections has been reduced by 75% due to a lack of self-funding from book fairs. This has been further compounded by a loss in books due to the pandemic. Grant funding will replace unreturned books; wave all fines and on updating and diversifying the collection.
St. John’s School – Puerto Rico
Located in the capital district of San Juan, the Secondary Division Library serves students from 7th – 12th-grade. With the loss of overall revenue during the pandemic the libraries budget was cut by 40% did there best to continue to assist students despite the additional challenge of frequent power outages on the island. Through the grant the library will realize the delayed plan to create a makerspace, which is a new concept in Puerto Rico to increase collaborative effort with teachers on STEM activities.
Topock Elementary School District #12 – Arizona
The Topock Elementary School is in a rural remote area of Arizona where the poverty rate hovers around 60%. With no budget since the pandemic started the library has not been able to run in a functional manner, unable to assist struggling students trying to keep up reading levels due to the lack of materials and intervention programs. With the grant part-time staff will be hired, new books purchased, ten new computers added with technology workstations.
Yonkers Public Schools – New York
The Gorton High School Library has served as cornerstone of emotional health and well-being, and a source of stability for predominately Latinx and Black Gorton learning community, where nearly 95% of the 1,000 students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. The grant will allow the creation of a production studio in the library that will provide students a unique space for learning new skills such as creating music, primary source documentaries, podcasts, working with green screens while enhancing their understanding of digital citizenship.
Ak-Chin Indian Community – Arizona
Serving the Ak-Chin Indian Community the library has faced an over 50% reduction in funding from pre-pandemic levels due to tourism based tribal business ventures. This has resulted in a staff reduction of almost 50%. Pre-pandemic the library would be open 6 days a week with many in person programs for all ages. During the pandemic limited services focused on providing Wi-Fi hotspots and Chromebooks™. Library hours were cut back impacting youth reading and elders programs. Grand funding will fund two temporary program staff to allow the library to open on Saturdays again and to offer a pre-pandemic level of programing.
Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma – Oklahoma
The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma serves the Iowa Tribe community and has faced an over a 15% reduction in funding from pre-pandemic levels. Staffing has been reduced from three to two. The tribal library is located on the Iowa tribal complex serving the rural community. Most library patrons are under 25 years old, and the library has a focus on literacy and resources for success including internet access to complete school, employment and social emotional needs. During the pandemic, the library had to relocate, funding will be spent on a part time staff member to organize, log and catalog collections. Grant funding would also go to new rolling bookshelves. Rolling shelving will allow the new location to be able to continue programming and internet usage with social distancing protocols. The goal of the funding is to increase program and overall library usage.
Kaibab Paiute Tribe – Arizona
The Kaibab Paiute Tribal Library serves the indigenous community of the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians located in rural northern Arizona. The library is the hub of our community and is very proud of its after-school program for touring to help close the gapes created by the pandemic. The pandemic resulted a 70% reduction in funding which gave way to a decrease in program offerings. Grant funding will be spent on furnishings for the current library space, during the pandemic the library has grown from 600 square feet to an area triple that size. The larger size is to accommodate programs for students and a TV system for the after-school program. This flexible seating and additional shelfing will allow distancing when necessary to ensure the continuation of programming.
Jackson Correctional – Wisconsin
Jackson Correctional Library in Black River Falls serves the population of the institution and due to the pandemic faces a high vacancy rate in staffing levels. In addition to this vacancy rate, funding has been reduced from pre-pandemic levels. The use of the local external library system to supplement needs has also been halted. 28% of users of the library will be released to the community within the next year and they will need employment. For many that are served, it expands the horizons of their former life and network, allowing them to seek alternative sources of information to make better life decisions. The greater community has a growing technology and sustainable energy sector. The library would use funding to purchase access to educational materials on sustainable resources including composting, hydroponics, aquaponics and urban land redevelopment. The funding would also assist in funding book groups, lecturers and volunteers from the sustainability industries to present opportunities in the field.
Aliceville Public Library – Aliceville, Alabama
The rural community of Aliceville serves a primarily Black community with a small Latinx community. 86% of students eligible for free or reduced school lunch. The library is an integrated community center and a place for a diversity of resources that residents depend on. Grant funding will support more paid staff hours, technology, building improvements and expanding educational programs. There will be a focus on supporting the senior activity center and supporting job skill development.
The Baldwin County Library Cooperative, Inc. – Robertsdale, Alabama
The rural communities of Baldwin County are served by 13 public libraries, and they are supported by countywide library cooperative. One of the critical services provided to member libraries is technology services and a hotspot lending program. Unfortunately, due to pandemic related budget reductions, there has not been enough funding to continue this program at the level required. Grant funding will support an IT person to continue and expand the countywide hotspot lending program.
Benton Harbor Public Library – Benton Harbor, Michigan
The primarily Black community of Benton Harbor has a population living with fiscal and transportation constrains. 42% of community members have incomes at or below the national poverty level. The library has faced budget reductions resulting a lower staffing level. Funding will allow more outreach services to the community including off-site tech help, story times and material deliveries.
Bessemer Public Library – Bessemer, Michigan
The rural community of Bessemer has faced a budget reduction to their library of over 20% since the beginning of the pandemic. The neighboring elementary school no longer has a school library as well and the public library has welcomed classroom visits, but budget cuts delayed needed renovations. Grant funding will be used for renovation projects with a special focus on technology.
Calumet Park Public Library – Calumet Park, Illinois
Calumet Park is a small suburb of Chicago with a majority Black population. Compared to pre-pandemic levels funding have been reduced by over 40%. This has reduced staffing by around 75% impacted all areas of library operations. The library will use grant funding for collections, technology, and computer literacy programing in English and Spanish. Grant funding will also go towards extending the hours of operation.
Casey County Public Library – Liberty, Kentucky
The remote town of Liberty and Casey County are served by the Casey County Public Library. 22.7% of the population is at or below the poverty line. Since the start of the pandemic a budget reduction has impacted the library’s ability to provide in demand services. The library will use grant funding for a “Welcome Back to Your Library” initiative. This will include a makerspace, programming for disenfranchised patrons, community education, school partnership and a gaming collection.
Columbia County Rural Library District – Dayton, Washington
The rural community of Dayton and the surrounding county has faced reductions in funding to their public library. The library will be focusing on rebuilding the connection between the public school system and the library. This connection was broken due to the pandemic and virtual learning. Outreach to seniors was also paused during the pandemic. Grant funding will work to establish these connections. Funding will support a Library of Things, story time, VR teen program, and laptops to begin to offer computer classes.
Commerce Public Library – Commerce, Texas
Commerce is a diverse community with multiple minority populations and a poverty rate of over 30%. Compared to pre-pandemic levels funding has been reduced by around 20%. As a nonprofit library fundraising supports over 50% of operations, but the city is building a ramp to increase building access and adding an accessible restroom. Due to these improvements and to ensure accessibility further changes will need to be made. Grant funding will support a new circulation desk, seating, shelving units a 40-year-old carpet that is a hazard.
Cottage Grove Public Library – Cottage Grove, Oregon
The small community of Cottage Grove prior to the pandemic was on an upward trajectory of library usage, but pandemic related budget reductions has resulted in a staffing reduction. Patronage is again trending upwards, and the library hosts a wide array of programming. Unfortunately, increased usage has caused space conflicts and grant funding will be used to address these. Funding will specifically address acoustics and updating to accessible furniture. Funding will be also used to re-engage the community with technology improvements and a pop-up bike bookmobile.
Craig Public Library – Craig, Alaska
Craig Public Library serves a diverse remote island community with an indigenous population of over 15%. The pandemic has resulted in a reduction in funding from pre-pandemic levels. Many books and other materials not being returned due to COVID19 restrictions. Funding will be used for replacing lost items and collection development to reduce the amount of interlibrary loans. Funding will also go towards reading bags for elementary aged youth, a new print center, outdoor seating, and a large air purifier to adapt to the current needs of patrons.
Del Norte County Library District – Crescent City, California
The rural community of Crescent City and Del Norte County are served by their library district. The area is diverse community with multiple minority populations and almost 20% of community members have incomes at or below the national poverty level. Grant funding will go towards resuming branch hours lost due to pandemic related reductions in funding, online hosting, and collection development.
Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Library – Mercedes, Texas
Mercedes is served by Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Library. Over 90% of the population of Mercedes is Latinx and 25% of residents are at or below the poverty line. Since the start of the pandemic funding has decreased and staffing has been reduced. The ability to secure needed collections resources has been reduced including a decrease in technology funding. Grant funding will be used to update the library’s servers and provide security for all the 38 patron computers.
El Paso Public Library – El Paso, Texas
A large staff reduction has impacted the Sergio Troncoso Branch of the El Paso Public Library. The service area of the Sergio Troncoso Branch has a higher rate of Latinx and indigenous individuals than the rest of the city. Due to the pandemic there as a two-year freeze in the purchasing of new technology. Grant funding will support new smartboards, laptops, and other technology.
Fossil Public Library – Fossil, Oregon
The rural community of Fossil has faced over a 45% reduction in funding to their public library compared to pre-pandemic levels. This funding cut is due to a loss in tax revenue included an impact to the hours the library can remain open. Grant funding will support salaries to increase library hours, technology, collection development and a computer tutor program.
Fremont County Library System – Lander, Wyoming
The rural community of Lander and Fremont County are served by the Fremont County Library System. Over 20% of the community is indigenous with a noteworthy Latinx population. The pandemic impacted the budget of the library system with a funding reduction of around 50%. Funding will be used primarily for collections development with a focus on early literacy, digital collections and nonfiction books related to skills development.
Granville County Library System – Oxford, North Carolina
The community in Granville County is diverse with multiple minority populations. The library system has faced budget cuts due to the pandemic impacting technology improvements and resources for programs. One program that has been impacted is services to the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the greater community of individuals who experience mental health issues. Grant funding will support sensory stations and related sensory supplies.
Hartford Public Library – Hartford, Michigan
The rural community of Hartford has a childhood poverty rate of almost 35% and the library is expanding their efforts around childhood literacy. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, library funding levels have been reduced by over 25% impacting children and youth programs. Grant funding will support activity bags for children, electronic collections, hotspots, and other youth programs. One program the library is takes a lot of pride in is their comic book fair. The fair is a new way for young people to engage with content.
Houston County Public Library – Perry, Georgia
Houston County is one of the fastest growing counties in Georgia, but funding has been reduced compared to pre-pandemic levels. The community is a diverse community with multiple minority populations. Grant funding will support diversifying the digital collection with a special emphasis on BIPOC and LGBTQ+ voices. There will be programing established around this new collection.
Hueytown Public Library – Hueytown, Alabama
The small town of Hueytown and Jefferson County are served by the Hueytown Public Library. Almost 40% of the population is Black. Since the start of the pandemic, the library’s budget has been reduced. This has impacted essential programs for patrons. Funding will be spent on large print books, free tutoring for primary and intermediate students and other additions to collections.
Lafourche Parish Public Library – Thibodaux, Louisiana
The Lafourche Parish is on the gulf coast of Louisiana and is a diverse community with multiple minority populations. Due to the pandemic and Hurricane Ida the funding has been reduced by almost 20%. Hurricane Ida left over 14,000 residents without homes. Grant funding will support new technology and technology upgrades that were delated due to a lack of funding with a special focus on rural branches were internet accessibility is not as prevalent.
Lake County Library District – Lakeview, Oregon
The rural community has faced a reduction in funding to their library due to declining property tax income. This funding reduction has had an impact on the ability to deliver literacy programs. Grant funding will support early literacy training, literacy collections, story hour materials, large children’s books, and items to make technology funded through another grant usable.
Las Vegas-Clark County Library District – Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas’s library system faced funding reductions during the pandemic that resulted in not being able to provide all needed programs to those most at risk. People without homes is a growing population in the Las Vegas area due to the economic issues related to the pandemic. To serve this population, grant funding will support cell phones with hot spots. All phones will come preloaded will library and community resource applications.
Biblioteca Municipal e Infantil Mariana Suarez de Longo – Ponce, Puerto Rico
Ponce is served by Biblioteca Municipal e Infantil Mariana Suarez de Longo. Over 50% of Ponce is below the national poverty level. The library’s budget was reduced by over 45% from pre-pandemic levels. This is mostly due to the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico and the impacts of Hurricane Maria. Before the pandemic, children ages 0-12 visited the reading corner with their teachers or families. There they enjoyed reading stories and art and crafts activities related to the story. In the same way they attended with their parents to visit the reading corner of the library to enjoy reading stories as a family. Funding will go to purchase furniture suitable for children for the reading corner. It will also go to purchasing technology for activities between children and their teacher or families. Tablets will be used to access digital books and a SMART Board will be used for stories and other literacy activities for children.
Montclair Public Library – Montclair, New Jersey
Montclair is a diverse community with multiple minority populations with many programs for all age groups. Due to the pandemic, funding to the library has been reduced by over 15% and this has resulted in a direct impact to the number of programs and hours the library is able to be open. Grant funding will support a restoration of hours and patrons will be directly surveyed to prioritize programs to match their needs. Funding will also support print collection development.
Navajo County Library District – Holbrook, Arizona
The rural community served by the Navajo County Library District is a diverse area with substantial indigenous and Latinx communities. Compared to pre-pandemic levels funding has been reduced by over 30%. As a result, the services provided to their 14 local public libraries have faced large cutbacks. One large area of that has had funding reduced is the ability to provide quality archives. Grant funding will support a project that represents a partnership with 5 of the 14 libraries to fund the inventory, digitization, database, and outreach related to the countywide archives.
New Durham Public Library – New Durham, New Hampshire
The rural community of New Durham has a relies on the public library for after school programming, STEM clubs, and the growing homeschool population. The community also has a large senior citizen population, and the library serves the community as an unofficial community center. Grant funding will support furniture for more preschool focused activities. Funding will also support technology such as iPads™, 3D printers and robotics.
Oxford Public Library – Oxford, Connecticut
Oxford is the fastest growing town in Connecticut, but due to the growth the tax burden has been reduced on residents resulting in a decrease in funding. This funding decline has specifically impacted the collections and programs budgets. Grand funding will support digital loaning platforms, educational materials for adults, and developing and updating collections such as graphic novels, juvenile nonfiction and nonfiction in the field of humanities and culture.
Park Falls Public Library – Park Falls, Wisconsin
The rural community of Park Falls has faced over a 50% reduction in the funding to their public library compared to pre-pandemic levels. During the pandemic the rural community depended on the library’s books by mail and curbside pickup. Unfortunately, the county board has cut funding for the Books by Mail program in 2022. The county has large senior citizen population that has been served by this program. Grant funding will be used to pay for a Books by Mail staff member, collection development targeted at the senior community and supporting the Books by Mail program.
Portland Public Library – Portland, Maine
Portland Public Library faced budget reductions due to the pandemic and the library has faced community-wide challenges such as an increase of people without homes. Funding will enable the library to address this growing population of people in need of resources by increasing the hours of a Community Resources Coordinator. This position will be focused on supporting technology access, application access and connections to other community resources.
Randolph Public Library – Randolph, Iowa
The rural community of Randolph is served by their public library by providing programs for children and senior citizens. The pandemic has reduced the funding available to the library impacting overall operating costs and programs. Grant funding will support updating collections, especially children’s collections, computers, tablets, multimedia systems and the circulation desk. Funding will also support the director’s salary which is near minimum wage.
Roanoke Rapids Public Library – Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina
The small community of Roanoke Rapids is a diverse community with multiple minority populations. Compared to pre-pandemic levels funding has been reduced by over 25%. Due to a reduction in hours, there has been a reduction in the amount of in person programming including tutoring and other community groups. Grant funding will support the return of in person programs to the library by funding staffing.
Public Libraries of Saginaw – Saginaw, Michigan
Saginaw is a diverse community in Michigan with multiple minority populations and a Black plurality. Compared to pre-pandemic levels funding has been reduced by around 15%. About 35% of the population have incomes at or below the national poverty line. The level of poverty means many community members be they entrepreneurs, creatives or lifelong learners are unable to obtain the physical items they need to enrich their lives. Grant funding will support a Library of Things providing many items to community members. Such items will include arts supply, electronics, musical instruments, kitchen equipment, gardening equipment, home tools, recreation items, 3D printers, laser cutters and book clubs to go.
Takoma Park Library – Takoma Park, Maryland
Takoma Park is a demographically diverse area of Maryland with multiple minority populations. Unfortunately, Takoma Park Library has faced a budget reduction of over 15% since the start of the pandemic. The library has a focus on inclusion and freedom of information with programs for LGBTQ+ and a Banned Books Club. Grand funding will be used to develop collections and for outreach to the Spanish speaking community.
Town Creek Public Library – Town Creek, Alabama
Town Creek is a diverse community with multiple minority populations and the library has faced a funding reduction of over 25% compared to pre-pandemic levels. The community has economic limitations resulting in many members walking or riding bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. To this end, funding will support the fourth and final phase of a StoryWalk and pedestrian bridge connecting the library to the local senior center and elementary school. The story walk will include a concrete walkway, rest areas, lighting, outdoor furniture and permanent, inter-changeable StoryWalk signage.
Washington County Public Library – Chipley, Florida
The rural community of Chipley is served by their public library. The community has a youth poverty rate of 30% and funding reductions have resulted in an impact to library services. Funding will support young adult and adult education though reading clubs, Launchpads™ with adult educational materials, and collection development.
City of Weed Library – Weed, California
In 2014 the Boles Fire destroyed the Weed Library and 150 residences within the rural City of Weed. Following the fire, the city leased a building to become a community hub and new home to the library. The library has also faced greater than a 35% reduction in funding due to the pandemic. Funding will allow an increase in the hours of operation, implementing a summer reading program and establishing ongoing fundraising for financial sustainability.
White Cloud Community Library – White Cloud, Michigan
The remote community of White Cloud is served by their community library. Since the start of the pandemic the funding of the White Cloud Community Library has reduced by over 10%. A part of the funding reduction was waving all fines due to the impact of the pandemic. The grant funding will be used to acquire new public access computers within the library. White Cloud’s rural location and childhood poverty rate of 43% results in many being unable to afford maintaining a computer at home.
Whitefield Library – Whitefield, Maine
The rural town of Whitefield has faced over a 50% reduction in funding to their nonprofit library. The Whitefield Library was established in 2018 in the town’s grange hall by local volunteers. Volunteers’ efforts resulted in a remodeling and insulation of their space in the grange hall. Funding has fully been from fundraising, grants and individual donors and the pandemic proved a very challenging time. Grant funding will expand services beyond lending to hire a part time Librarian Administrator and Children’s Program Coordinator. These two positions will be built into the budget and funding requests will go to six local municipalities and other funding sources.
Whitman County Rural Library District – Colfax, Washington
Whitman County is the nation’s largest wheat producing county and funding has been a challenge during the pandemic in connection with the county’s property taxes. The system has 13 branches across the county, and most are open somewhere between 6 and 20 hours a week. An area that has these financial constrains has impacted is technology and building a sense of community. Grant funding will support additional hours in STEAM programs, hot spots, and educational family programs and games in branch libraries.
Wilkinson County Library System – Woodville, Mississippi
The majority Black rural communities in Wilkinson County are served by their county library system. The library system of two locations faced pandemic related budget cuts resulting in a reduction of staffing causing a reduction in hours of operations. The system focuses on literacy services and computer access for many community members. Grant funding will allow extended library hours though the extending of hours of current part time staff and to hire an additional part time staff member.
William B Harlan Memorial Library – Tompkinsville, Kentucky
The remote community of Tompkinsville and the surrounding county is served by William B Harlan Memorial Library. The pandemic has resulted in a reduction in funding from pre-pandemic levels. Adapting programs for COVID19 restrictions resulted in reaching new families though virtual programming and curbside services. The library is working to reach the most rural parts of the county and establishing relationships with traditionally underserved communities though community partnerships. The local schools will be offering an intensive summer session and the library will partner with the school district on this session. Programs will also include summer reading camps, kindergarten readiness camps, and an archiving of oral history interviews the county. These programs and partnerships will use grant funding for additional staffing hours.
Wolfe County Public Library – Campton, Kentucky
The rural communities in Wolfe County have many members with financial challenges with 30% of the population at or below the poverty line with a substantial senior citizen population. The county library has also faced a financial challenge with a reduction in funding of around 20% from pre-pandemic levels. These reductions in state funding have delayed capital improvements that cause barriers to access. Grant funding will support new automatic doors to allow access for people using walkers, wheelchairs, strollers, or those who have other needs for easier entry and exit.
Yoncalla Public Library – Yoncalla, Oregon
The rural community of Yoncalla is served by their public library which has faced a reduction of funding by over 50%. This large cut in funding is due to a pause in book sales, donations and fines. The grant will be used for librarian salaries to help stabilize in house income sources and to restart the summer reading program. Funding will further be used for new laptops, ereaders, hotspots and for a technology consultant.
Briar Cliff University – Sioux Falls, Iowa
This small university around 1,000 in Sioux Falls where 35% of the students are minorities and 27% of all students are first-generation from low-income families the library is essential to their studies, especially checking out laptops. With high demand the library had to reduce loan periods of laptops during the pandemic. The grant will increase the number of laptops so that students who need them can check-out and for longer periods.
Bronx Community College – Bronx, New York
Designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution, the library supports the 7,000 students who are 60% Latinx and 34% Black, and are traditional and non-traditional, English Language Learners, and those with justice system involvement. Major loss of state funding has resulted in a 25% reduction in the budget and loss of staff resulting in reduced open hours. Orienting students about library services and teaching information literacy skills is a key activity to achieve student success. To supplement in-person trainings, the library will create a series of virtual micro learnings students can view at any time to learn about specific resources and services related to their assignments.
University of California - San Francisco – San Francisco, California
The library is for graduate-level, health sciences programs and for medical staff at the San Francisco Medical Center. It was managing the Fishborn Library at the Mount Zion Medical Center, which had to close in fall 2020 due to loss of funding during the pandemic as all 3 librarian positions were eliminated. The library also had to eliminate many essential journal subscriptions as collection budgets were reduced by 20%. The grant will restore many of the online and print subscriptions for the 4,000 nurses and students.
Concordia University – River Forest, Illinois
Revenue losses during the pandemic have meant the Klinck Memorial Library had to eliminate one of its two locations due to permanent and part-time and student worker staff reductions. The library’s grant is focused on helping the 500 first-generation undergraduate students succeed. Fifty-four percent of these students are Latinx, 13% Black, and 20% Mixed-Race. The grant will create new spaces for these Trailblazers along with resources and initiatives to make the library a home for them.
Dewey University – Carolina, Puerto Rico
The Jaime Benitez Learning Resource Center is resilient, having to relocate after Hurricane Maria and to do its best to serve students during the pandemic. Most of the 400 students are first the in their families to attend college Though with budget cuts of 40% that resulted in staff being reduced from 2.5 FTE to just one librarian. The grant will increase the resources courses and programs in nursing and health, pre-school education, and general studies. And new computers will provide students access to information, and research and for independent study and group work.
Fayetteville State University – Fayetteville, North Carolina
During the pandemic cuts of over $100,000 to the library at this Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) did not allow additional laptops for students who did not own them. The student body is 60% Black, 70% female, with a large majority relying on federal financial aid to go to college. The library also serves the local community who come in to use computers for basic Internet access to do job searches and apply for opportunities. Laptops will be purchased that can be loaned out for use in the library for extended periods to do research for assignments, create projects, and write up papers.
Genesee Community College – Batavia, New York
The community college has close 4,500 full and part-time students including traditional, high school dual-enrollment, and non-traditional adult students. Seventy percent of GCC’s degree- or certificate-seeking students are economically-disadvantaged. The library is operating with 20% less staff and a 33% reduction in non-salary expenses. With the grant the library will subscribe to Visible Body, a database that supports online lab instruction for the popular allied health programs. With more online instruction the library will increase its media streaming capabilities and acquire new tablets for study.
Highland Community College – Highland, Kansas
Located in rural Northeast Kansas the HCC Library serves students at our Highland campus and four additional locations across a nine-county service area and online. It is also part of a consortium with public libraries serving the region. Nearly 40% of the 3,000 students are both low-income and first-generation. Internet access, Wi-Fi, computers, new books, and reliable resources are crucial to the future success of these students. After first year pandemic cut of 30% the library has regained some of its budget but has been unable to meet the need for more computers. The grant will purchase 15 new computers for those without access to the Internet at home.
Hudson Valley Community College – Troy, New York
Located in the small town in Upstate New York, the HVCC Dwight Marvin Library serves students almost 9000 students with 27% of students eligible for financial aid which exceeds the region’s poverty rate. The pandemic resulted in a 15% reduction in the library’s overall budget which resulted in the position elimination and the reduction in technology support to students. Many low-to-moderate income students are unable to access services in person or have access to at home internet, especially students with dependent children. To address this need, the grant will purchase 43 hotspots and licenses.
University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana – Champaign, Illinois
The Resident Hall Library System provides students with resources that meet their educational, social, and cultural needs. The collections and programs support all aspects of students’ lives both academically and personally. Cuts of 50% during the pandemic have forced closure of two of four location, loss of staff, and funds for programs. More cuts this year jeopardize the ability of the libraries to help students on campus, many first-generation, struggling due to the impact of the pandemic. The grant will add back staff, help fund programs, and the addition of new materials.
Northeast Texas Community College – Mt. Pleasant, Texas
North Texas Community College is a Hispanic-Serving Institution, with 35% of the 2,600 full and part-time students are Latinx. The library is open to all in the tri-counties, many who have no access to the Internet at home The impact of the pandemic has resulted in lower enrollment and subsequent cuts to the library budget which resulted in the loss of staff. The grant will allow the library to rehire staff to serve student and the community. And old, outdated technology in the circulation and technical services will be replaced.
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