For immediate release | February 11, 2016

Bezhigoogahbow Library Receives 2016 Light the Way Grant

CHICAGO -- The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced that Bezhigoogahbow Library (Leech Lake Tribal College) is the recipient of the 2016 ALSC/Candlewick Press "Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved" Grant. As the winner of the grant, the library will receive $3,000 for their Agindaasodaa! (Let's Read!) project.

The Light the Way Grant, which honors Newbery medalist and Geisel winner Kate DiCamillo, is now in its sixth year. Although originally conceived as a one-time award, it has continued to be presented with the kind generosity of Candlewick Press.

The Bezhigoogahbow Library will provide culturally responsive literacy outreach to children birth to four, and to young caregivers under age 25 living on the Leech Lake Reservation. The program has three primary goals: help children develop early literacy skills; help young caregivers embrace literacy in their own children’s lives; and most importantly, help preserve the native Ojibwe language.

Because the Bezhigoogahbow Library is located entirely on tribal lands, it is exclusively grant-funded. This demonstrated a clear financial need for this important project. It’s embedded in the Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) campus. The library’s unique use as an academic/community library serving LLTC students, families of LLTC students and the greater Leech Lake Reservation provided the committee with an understanding of the special population this library serves.

Candlewick Press is an independent, employee-owned publisher based in Somerville, Mass. Candlewick publishes outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages. Candlewick's parent company is Walker Books Ltd., of London with additional offices in Sydney and Auckland.

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 4,200 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 Web site at 

Members of the 2015-16 ALSC Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee includeLesley Mason, Chair, D.C. Public Library, Washington, D.C.; Sylvia Aguiñaga, San Jose State University, Los Angeles, California; Jason Driver, Chicago Public Library, Chicago; Renee Grassi, Glen Ellyn Public Library, Glen Ellyn, Illinois; Erin Rogers, Henrico County Public Library, Henrico, Virginia; Eva Thaler-Sroussi, Glencoe Public Library, Glencoe, Illinois and Skokie Public Library, Skokie, Illinois; Amanda Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, Middleton, Wisconsin.


Courtney Jones

Awards Coordinator

American Library Assoication