The third week of October is National Friends of Libraries Week. This national holiday celebrates groups that support libraries all over the United States, as well as encourages others to visit their own local libraries. The week also gives these organizations an opportunity to increase awareness about membership opportunities, their goals, projects, and other ways to volunteer.
Here are some ways to celebrate National Friends of Libraries Week:
- Visit your local library, find the one closest to you here.
- Volunteer at your local library.
- Learn more about programs offered through friends of library groups.
- Donate to a library program.
- Host an event at a library that has a friends of library group.
Libraries are essential to communities, because they help improve literacy rates and build an interest in literature and reading in a more relaxed setting. They also provide resources and reading materials to people who otherwise could not afford access to them on their own. Libraries can help all ages, whether helping teach a child to read or allowing an adult to learn new skills.
According to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, more than 172 million Americans have library cards, which is more than half of the U.S. population. And this isn’t a new trend. Data from a Pew Research Center survey in 2015 revealed that 70 percent of parents of minors said that a library closure would have a major impact on them. 70 percent of those ages 50 and older also agree that closing their library would have significant ramifications for them.
However, without funding, libraries do not have the money they need to continue to provide these resources to the public. Grants are a good way to secure this funding that can be used for building upgrades, library displays, youth programs, equipment, staffing and many other aspects.
Keep Your Community Reading with These Five Grants
- Grant of $3,000 to a U.S. library for outreach efforts addressing underserved populations in the community. Funding is intended for projects that engage underserved children, from birth to age 14. Applications will be considered for new and innovative programs, or for the expansion of work already being implemented.
- Grants to U.S. school libraries for books and other reading materials. Funding is intended to encourage students from needy schools to develop an interest in learning and reading. Eligible expenses include books and electronic books, periodicals, reference materials, and magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
- Award of $1,000 and a $500 travel stipend to a U.S., Canada, or International library to acknowledge contributions to the development and augmentation of information literacy instruction. The award is available to both academic and non-academic libraries.
- Award of $3,500 to a U.S. or Canada library to recognize achievements in the area of professional development. The award honors an institution that offers a workforce development program designed to enhance staff abilities and increase the effectiveness in reaching objectives and goals.
- In-kind grants of new children’s books to U.S. public and tribal libraries in rural areas. Recipients will be able to choose the most appropriate books for their community from a list of over 500 high-quality hardcover children’s books, including award-winning and star-reviewed titles from educational and literary organizations.
And make sure to check out the complete grant database over at GrantWatch. Paid subscribers can use the exact keyword search function to further narrow down their search. So make sure to sign up for a paid GrantWatch subscription today.