Grants of $10,000 and grants of $20,000 and in-kind support to small USA libraries in rural areas for community engagement projects and resources. In-kind support includes professional development, project and technical support, and online resources for library staff. The goal of the program is to help libraries better serve people with disabilities.
Through these grants, ALA strives to:
- Increase the accessibility of library facilities, services, and programs for people with disabilities in small and rural communities.
- Support libraries’ community engagement efforts by providing resources to help them to work with impacted populations to guide improvement of library services.
Project Design: Libraries should identify the primary audience they wish to better serve with their project. Primary audience should be people with disabilities, such as, but not limited to, people who are neurodivergent, people with physical disabilities, people with learning disabilities, etc.
If selected for funding, the library will facilitate at least one community conversation with the identified primary audience to discuss accessibility in the community and library in order to collaboratively identify existing resources, needs/gaps, and priorities. Based on the conversation outcomes, the library will revise their preliminary project plan to align with the needs/priorities of their primary audience.
The library will then implement their finalized plan while sharing information about next steps and inviting feedback from the primary audience throughout the rest of the project. Methods for sharing out information may include, but are not limited to, social media posts, direct mailers, newsletters, etc.
LTC grant funds are restricted to project-related expenses. Eligible expenses may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Library staff time
- Honoraria for conversation participants
- Payment to project partners for reimbursement or direct funding of services and support provided (e.g., ASL interpreters, live captioners)
- Facility upgrades (e.g., automatic door openers, accessible signage, sensory space equipment)
- Tech equipment (e.g., Braillers, iPads, virtual meeting licenses, Assistive Technology)
- Adaptive equipment (e.g., modified tools, sensory tools)
- Books or other collection materials
- Training for library staff (e.g., disability inclusion training)
- Project supplies (e.g., markers, index cards, Post-its)
- Promotion and publicity
Some disabilities are visible and some are not. Some examples of disabilities include, but are not limited to:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Cerebal palsy
- Deafness or hearing loss
- Blindness or low vision
- Mobility disabilities such as those requiring the use of a wheelchair, walker, or cane
- Intellectual disabilities
- Major depressive disorder
This list is not exhaustive, but serves as an example of some of the disabilities you can focus on for your target audience.