Three public libraries awarded ALA’s 2023 Peggy Barber Tribute 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 2023 Peggy Barber Tribute Grant, a programming grant named after the transformative ALA leader, to Brookings (S.D.) Public Library, Gill Memorial Library (Paulsboro, N.J.) and Mount Kisco (N.Y.) Public Library.

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. This year, applicants proposed programming that would increase access for underserved library users.

Brookings Public Library’s project, VisABILITY: Disability Awareness and Outreach Initiative, will establish programs that accommodate the needs of patrons with disabilities, including crafts, board and yard game days and sensory/ability-friendly yoga classes. The initiative will also provide a Q&A session with local panelists with varying disabilities, an information session on the South Dakota State Library’s braille and talking books collection, a documentary screening, disability etiquette and ADA basics training and more.

Gill Memorial Library will use the grant to expand upon its partnership with local schools’ Life Skills classes. Through its Life Skills for 21 and Under program, the library will host field trips to the library so school groups can explore and learn how to use library services.

Mount Kisco Public Library will fund monthly day trips to the library for developmentally disabled adults, offered in collaboration with a partner organization. Building on a one-time program conducted prior to the pandemic, participants will spend the visits engaging in a themed story time, making crafts and listening to music on a chosen theme.

“The committee of the 2023 Peggy Barber award was greatly inspired by the number of impressive submissions we received this year,” said Annie Tillmann, committee chair and librarian at Lake Villa (Ill.) District Library. “We are confident that the three selected library programs will increase access for their identified groups and spark interest for new library users.”

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 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