Carlsbad (N.M.) Public Library and Lexington (Neb.) Public Library Awarded ALA’s Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant

For Immediate Release
Mon, 04/17/2023


Hannah Arata

Communications Specialist

Public Programs Office

American Library Association

CHICAGO  — The American Library Association (ALA) has awarded its fourth Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant to Carlsbad (N.M.) Public Library and Lexington (Neb.) Public Library to support the libraries’ efforts in adult literacy and early childhood education.

The $2,000 annual grant aids school, public, academic, tribal and special libraries in creating or expanding community engagement efforts. Each year, the grants support community engagement projects with a specific theme; in 2023, libraries’ proposals focused on “connecting and reconnecting” with their communities.

The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant is made possible by former ALA president and longtime generous supporter Nancy Kranich, supplemented by donors to ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund.

“Carlsbad Public Library and Lexington Public Library show true devotion to community connection and reconnection,” stated Nancy Kranich. “My congratulations go to both libraries, chosen from a competitive group of impressive proposals that reflect my ongoing passion for transforming communities. I’m proud to support such promising and innovative projects.”

Carlsbad Public Library will use the grant to support its Adult Literacy Project, a community-centered initiative that connects adults to resources at the library and other local organizations. With one in three adults reading below a third-grade level, the Adult Literacy Project will enable the library to elevate existing library partnerships, like its adult story time at a local brewery, reengage with local literacy centers to reach Spanish speakers, and begin a literacy program within a local detention center.

Lexington Public Library will use the funds to expand its new Early Childhood Educator Work Center, a resource for local early childhood educators and childcare providers. The grant will enable the library to purchase makerspace equipment, expand Spanish-language resources and continue local partnerships. Partner organizations will provide training and guidance to child educators and parents at monthly workshops to be held onsite.

“The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant Committee was thrilled by the response to our call for proposals this year,” said Elaine Tai, committee chair and supervising librarian, children’s services at Berkeley (Calif.) Public Library. “Carlsbad Public Library’s community-driven work shows great care and commitment toward adult literacy efforts, and the Early Childhood Educator Work Center is an innovative and collaborative resource for the Lexington community. Both projects present the possibility and strength of solutions cultivated with local partnerships, and are examples of the connection between libraries and the communities they serve.”

ALA invites further contributions to the Cultural Communities Fund to support future Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grants. To donate online, visit ALA’s online giving platform. Click “Add a tribute or memorial to my donation” and specify “LTCEG” to designate your donation.

Last year’s Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant was awarded to the Metropolitan College of New York for its Black Maternal Health Initiative and the Sarah Hightower Regional Library System in Georgia for the Coming Home: Essential Resources for Re-Entering Citizens project.

The grant selection committee consists of a chair and four ALA members appointed by ALA’s Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee (PCPAC).

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. For more information, visit