ALTAFF and Nordstrom to award 20 matching Books for Babies grants in 2009

Contact: Beth Nawalinski

Director of Marketing & Communications




For Immediate Release

March 31, 2009

Application deadline extended to Apr. 15

PHILADELPHIA – In partnership with Nordstrom, the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), will award 20 grants of $500 each to match $1,000 raised by selected Friends of the Library groups, women’s groups, libraries and other non-profit organizations for purchasing Books for Babies kits from ALTAFF.

Books for Babies is a national literacy program that acquaints parents of newborns with the important role they play in the development of their children. Parents are presented with a Books for Babies kit containing a board book for baby, baby’s first library card and a variety of brochures with reading tips and early literacy information from nationally recognized educational organizations. Organizations such as Friends of the Library groups, Women’s Clubs and Junior Leagues purchase Books for Babies packets. Groups often supplement the packets with information about local resources, including library locations and contact information, as well as details about lapsit and preschool story hours.

In 2008, more than 5,000 Books for Babies kits were distributed to newborns and their parents through a year-long partnership with Nordstrom, one of the nation’s leading fashion specialty retailers with 159 stores located in 28 states. The early childhood literacy kits were purchased by 20 organizations across the country that received matching grants through a $10,000 donation given in conjunction with the publication of Nordstrom’s first book, “Once Upon a Holiday the Moon Fell Out of the Sky.” The program was so successful that Nordstrom donated another $10,000 to continue the matching grants for 2009.

Ten grants will be awarded in each of two cycles. The deadline for the first round of grants has been extended to Apr. 15. An additional 10 matching grants will be awarded in October with an application deadline of Oct. 1. Additional information and the application form can be found online at Any type of non-profit organization with a current program or interested in starting a Books for Babies program is encouraged to apply.

ALTAFF is a division of ALA with approximately 5,000 Friends of Library, Trustee, Foundation and individual members and affiliates representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. Begun in early 2009 with the merger of Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) and the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA), the new division brings together Trustees and Friends into a partnership that unites the voices of lay supporters to create a powerful force for libraries in the 21st Century. For more information about ALTAFF, please contact Beth Nawalinski at (215) 790-1674 or