For immediate release | February 17, 2011

Library, school and community organizations expand collections with Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grants

CHICAGO – The Pontiac (Mich.) Public Library, the Pontiac (Mich.) Children’s Service and the Luke O’Toole Elementary School in Chicago are recipients of the 2011 Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grants.

Awarded by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee, the grant program provides books submitted for consideration for the Coretta Scott King Book Awards to libraries and other organizations to expand their collections. Each year, three organizations are selected that demonstrate need and potential benefit from receiving the collection. Eligible applicants may include libraries, schools, social service agencies, prisons or detention centers, religious organizations and institutions of higher education.

The Pontiac Public Library serves a community hit hard by the economic crisis; Pontiac has a 31.3 percent poverty rate, a school district with a $10 million dollar deficit and a library facing a 50-percent cut to its materials budget. With new titles provided by the Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grant, the Pontiac Public Library can continue its service to the community and expose readers to new experiences. Pontiac Children’s Service, a residential home for delinquent teenage boys, houses youth whose legal guardians have relinquished their rights or have been placed there by the local justice system. “Having the these books available will increase our residents’ access to quality literature, provide positive role models and offer an alternative to watching television,” said Ashelin Currie of PCS. “The CSK books give voice to marginalized groups that society too often keeps invisible.”

The Luke O’Toole Elementary School, which serves pre-kindergartners through eighth graders, is located in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side. “We want students to begin to develop their sense of agency, the idea that they can make positive choices that will lead to success in whatever it is that they choose to reach for,” said Lindsay McGrain, a teacher at O’Toole. “We believe that through the powerful example of Coretta Scott King award-winning titles, we can begin to inspire our students to reach for their dreams.”

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are presented annually by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of the ALA’s Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) to encourage the artistic expression of the African American experience via literature and the graphic arts.

To learn more about the Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grant, please visit


John Amundsen