Homewood Public Library Awarded 2020 Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program Grant

For Immediate Release
Fri, 02/14/2020


Jordan Dubin

Awards Coordinator




The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has awarded the 2020 ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program Grant to Homewood Public Library in Homewood, Alabama.

This grant is designed to encourage outstanding summer reading programs by providing financial assistance while recognizing ALSC members for outstanding program development. The program must be open to all children from birth to age 14. The grant encourages summer programming that provides for inclusion of children with physical and mental disabilities. This $3,000 grant is made possible by Baker & Taylor, a leading distributor of books, videos, and music products to libraries, institutions and retailers.

Homewood Public Library serves the city of Homewood, Alabama as well as the broader population of Jefferson County, the most populous county in Alabama. Homewood Public Library has worked to build inclusivity and literacy through hands-on sensory programming in the library and outreach, collection development, and community partnerships with organizations that serve youth with special needs. Homewood also partners with a local school to provide work study opportunities for young adults with learning disabilities to flourish in a job setting. Homewood’s Summer Reading program, while open to all youth, has not been able to specifically target special needs populations.

Funding from the Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Grant will give the library the ability to specifically target enrollment of youth ages 0-14 with sensory issues by allowing the addition of accessible programming and performers, high interest incentives, and the purchase of materials to create a sensory inclusive environment that will serve beyond the summer reading program, allowing more children with special needs and differing abilities the opportunity to participate in programming. Children’s staff have all undergone training through partner organization, KultureCity, to equip staff with needed tools and understanding to provide service to youth and families with special needs children. Partnerships with Kulture city as well as the Regional Autism Network and Autism Society of Alabama will allow the library to reach out to local families as well as those throughout Jefferson County and beyond.

“The committee was impressed by Homewood’s building of partnerships and targeted outreach to children with special needs and their families in their community,” said Ariana Hussain, 2020 Grants Administration Committee Chair. “Funding from the grant will allow the library to have more programming for children with special needs this summer, equipment for programming throughout the year, and hopefully, foster the infrastructure and community interest that will allow this library to keep building upon the wonderful work it is committed to doing.”

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC’s website at www.ala.org/alsc.