For immediate release | February 24, 2017

2017 American Dream libraries announced

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services is pleased to announce the recipients of the fifth round of the American Dream Literacy Initiative grant, generously funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

The American Dream Literacy initiative is a year-long program that delivers services and serves thousands of English language learners in a warm and welcoming environment. Nineteen U.S. public libraries were selected through a competitive application process. To date, 185 public libraries have initiated or expanded literacy services for the adult English language learners. American Dream libraries offer computer access and training, job readiness programs, and ELL, GED and citizenship classes. As part of the initiative, American Dream libraries build replicable programs, develop coalition-building strategies and provide annotated lists of vetted resources for libraries across the country.

Much of the program’s success relies on outreach to new immigrant populations, and requires public libraries to build strong partnerships while leveraging additional resources received through these collaborative efforts.

This year’s recipients are:

Bemis Public Library, Littleton, Colorado.

Campbell County Public Library System, Lynchburg, Virginia.

Cresskill Public Library, Cresskill, New Jersey.

David A. Howe Public Library, Wellsville, New York.

The Ferguson Library, Stamford, Connecticut.

First Regional Library, Hernando, Mississippi.

Gail Borden Public Library District, Elgin, Illinois.

Keyport Public Library, Keyport, New Jersey.

Lebanon County Library District, Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

Maplewood Memorial Library, Maplewood, New Jersey.

McAllen Public Library System, McAllen, Texas

North Bergen Free Public Library, North Bergen, New Jersey.

North Miami Beach Library, North Miami Beach, Florida.

Queens Borough Public Library, Jamaica, New York.

Perry Public Library, Perry, Ohio

Plainfield Public Library (RAILS), Plainfield, Illinois.

South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, New Jersey.

Terrebonne Parish Library System, Houma, Louisiana.

West Orange Public Library, West Orange, New Jersey.

The office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services offers thanks to the newly formed American Dream Initiative Committee for their hard work in selecting the 2017 recipients.

About the American Library Association Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services

The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services supports library and information science workers in creating safe, responsible, and all-inclusive spaces that serve and represent the entire community. To accomplish this, we decenter power and privilege by facilitating conversations around access and identity as they impact the profession and those we serve. We use a social justice framework to inform library and information science workers' development of resources. We strive to create an association culture where these concerns are incorporated into everybody's everyday work.

About Dollar General Literacy Foundation

Since 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has improved the functional literacy of adults by providing grants to non-profit organizations dedicated to the advancement of literacy.

Dollar General’s commitment to literacy began with J.L. Turner, co-founder of Dollar General. With only a third-grade education, J.L. overcame tremendous odds and built the company now known as Dollar General Corporation.

The adult literacy grants program and the family literacy grants program are funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The Foundation supports non-profit organizations within Dollar General's market area that are established for public use and have an active 501(c)(3) status under the Internal Revenue Service Code.


Zina Clark

Program Coordinator, American Dream Literacy Initiative

Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services

(312) 280-4297