For immediate release | March 4, 2024

ALA awards $3.6 million in library accessibility funding to 310 small and rural libraries

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the second round of recipients of its Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Accessible Small and Rural Communities grant, an initiative to help small and rural libraries increase the accessibility of facilities, services and programs to better serve people with disabilities.

The 310 funded proposals represent 45 U.S. states. Of the selected libraries, 62 percent serve communities of less than 5,000 people. Eighty-five of the libraries also received funding in the first round of the grant initiative, bringing the total count of LTC: Accessible Small and Rural Communities grantees to 465. See the full list of libraries.

Fifty libraries will receive grants of $20,000, and 260 libraries will receive grants of $10,000. Eligibility was limited to communities with populations less than 25,000 that are located at least five miles from an urbanized area, in accordance with Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) definitions.

“The LTC: Accessible Small and Rural Communities grant has been the largest grant initiative in the history of the ALA,” said ALA President Emily Drabinski. “Each of these 465 libraries will begin or continue projects that will improve library access for thousands of library users across the nation. This initiative will have a lasting impact on these small communities and beyond, bringing a much-needed light to the library field.”

Selected libraries have identified a primary audience they wish to serve (e.g., people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities or intellectual disabilities). Library staff will conduct community input-gathering sessions with the identified primary audience to discuss accessibility in the community and library to collaboratively identify existing resources, needs/gaps and priorities. The libraries will then use the funds to create services or improve their facilities, services or program offerings based on the needs identified by their audience.

Previously funded LTC projects have included the installation of chair lifts and hearing loops, hosting arts and crafts programs for community members living with Alzheimer’s and memory loss, and the creation of accessible outdoor spaces like community gardens.

Below is a selection of funded proposals:

  • To combat a rise in cyberbullying incidents against students with disabilities, Columbia Falls (Mont.) High School Library will use their $20,000 in grant funding to kickstart a student task force to plan and implement an anti-bullying campaign. The campaign will include an array of after school programs with community partners like the mental wellness organization, Nate Chute Foundation and Humanities Montana.
  • Dunkerton, Iowa, is a community of 842 people with 15.3% of the population living with a disability. Dunkerton Public Library will use their $20,000 in grant funding to help older adults with mobility issues, people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and those who are blind or low vision to fully participate in all library services. After receiving community input, the library plans to partner with the Iowa Library for the Blind, purchase large print books, install new LED lighting and update sound systems.
  • Round one grant recipient, Beals Memorial Library in Winchendon, Massachusetts, will continue its efforts to support individuals on the Autism Spectrum and their families. The library will use their $10,000 in grant funding from the second round to enhance sensory friendly programs and increase existing collection materials to provide a welcoming atmosphere.

Since 2014, ALA has distributed LTC funding to foster community engagement skills among library workers and support need-driven projects. LTC: Accessible Small and Rural Communities is offered in partnership with The Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).

“The Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) sends our congratulations to the second round of LTC: Accessible Small and Rural Communities libraries,” said ARSL Executive Director Kate Laughlin. “We are proud of these libraries for conducting such community-focused projects across the country, enhancing the lives of many. We look forward to the great work that will come from this second round.”

In February 2024, ALA announced an additional $10 million in grants to continue the Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities initiative. Grants of $10,000 and $20,000 will be distributed over the next three years.

The third round of LTC: Accessible Small and Rural Communities will open in fall 2024. To be notified when applications open, sign up for ALA’s Programming Librarian newsletter.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

About the ALA Public Programs Office

The ALA Public Programs Office empowers libraries to create vibrant hubs of learning, conversation and connection in communities of all types. Learn more at

About the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services

The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services supports library and information science workers in creating responsible and all-inclusive spaces that serve and represent the entire community. Learn more at

About the Association for Rural & Small Libraries

ARSL builds strong communities through advocacy, professional development, and elevating the impact of rural and small libraries. As the premier organization representing rural and small libraries, ARSL recognizes the uniqueness of this constituency and is committed to providing an environment that encourages service excellence within our community of practice.


Hannah Arata

Communications Specialist

American Library Association

Public Programs Office