For immediate release | April 15, 2024

Three Libraries Awarded ALA’s 2024 Peggy Barber Tribute Grant for Exceptional Civic Education Programs

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) has awarded its 2024 Peggy Barber Tribute Grant, a programming grant named after the transformative ALA leader, to the Library System of Bradford County (New Albany, Penn.), Danbury (Conn.) Public Library and Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Libraries (Mount Pleasant, Mich.).

The $2,500 grant, open to public, academic, K-12, tribal and special libraries, supports meaningful programs in libraries with limited programming budgets. The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant supports a different type of library programming each year. Applicants for the 2024 grant proposed programming related to civic education.

The Library System of Bradford County’s proposed project, Why Your Vote Matters: History, How to, and More, will educate library patrons on the right to vote, how to find information on candidates and how running for local office can help the community become more engaged in shaping the future of the region. The library will partner with the Bradford County Regional Arts Council to present a film on voting rights followed by a panel discussion and meet and greet with local elected officials.

The Civic Hub Initiative at the Danbury Public Library will be a “pop-up” space within the library for rotating collections on civics topics and activities focused on local issues. Patrons will take part in programs including talks with local organizations to encourage community volunteering. The rotating topics as part of the Civic Hub will include voting, environmental sustainability, food insecurity, housing instability, immigration and income inequality.

Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Libraries will host the program, Kna-dwen-mi-go (You Are Needed), to provide an opportunity and space for tribal community members to engage with Native people who currently hold non-Tribal-elected office. With Native Americans underrepresented in non-Tribal elected offices, the program will encourage attendees to consider running for office themselves. Current Native elected officials will be available to answer any questions and work as guides to help those interested. Hosted in-person and virtually, the library aims for this program to reach a large audience and for it to be an opportunity for collaboration with community partners.

“The committee of the 2024 Peggy Barber Award was greatly impressed by the many mindful and creative proposals we received this year,” said Alicia Deal, committee chair and librarian at Dallas (Texas) Public Library. “The three winning libraries represent the innovative ways library programming can work to engage communities in civics on local and national levels. The selection committee sends our congratulations to the winners, and we look forward to the outcomes of the proposed projects.”

Margaret "Peggy" Barber was a transformative leader in ALA and the library field who was behind the creation of National Library Week and the Celebrity READ series. The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant was created with donations from Barber’s friends and colleagues. To support the grant, make a contribution to the Peggy Barber tribute fund within ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund.

To stay informed about future grants and awards offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office, sign up for the Programming Librarian e-newsletter.

About the ALA Public Programs Office

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office empowers libraries to create vibrant hubs of learning, conversation, and connection in communities of all types.

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.


Hannah Arata

Communications Specialist

American Library Association

Public Programs Office