Libraries: Beyond The Books

When I was nine years old, the library was my favorite place in the whole wide world. There were so many books to read, stories to explore, mystical lands to visit, and it was all accessible to me. The library was the place that I went to every single Friday, and sometimes more often than that to pick up books that I had put on hold for me or my mother. I always ended up leaving with an overly heavy bag of books.

My favorite librarian, who was named Bridget, even allowed me to help with re-shelving the books, which made me feel like I was giving back to the community. That’s the thing, libraries often double as community spaces, offering programs for kid’s, adults and seniors. Those programs can include reading groups, classes in basic computer skills, as well as (in the case of my current favorite library in West Palm Beach), fun exercise classes. 

There is some good news for the furthering of library missions around the country. Google has awarded eleven libraries across Idaho with workforce development grants aimed at helping the community. This is being called Libraries Lead with Digital Skills and is an initiative of the American Library Association and The Public Library Association and is sponsored by Grow with Google

The 1K grant can be used for libraries to continue and even expand current programs related to workforce development. This could include preparing library and community members with essential skills for jobs, interview training, and more. It could also help business owners to learn new things in regard to expanding the possibilities of their businesses.

In addition to this funding, the libraries selected will also receive a host of other benefits. These eleven libraries will also receive marketing support, advocacy tools, and a community of practice. All of this is aimed at bringing more attention to the services that libraries offer. GrantWatch is a resource that has always helped organizations with economic development and workforce development and is filled with useful grants in both of these areas.

Authored by: Lianne Hikind

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