Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Talk Story: Sharing Stories, Sharing Culture Grant

Each year the American Indian Library Association and Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association team up to offer a total of 4 grants worth $750 each to encourage libraries, schools, and community organizations who serve Asian American, Pacific Islander American, and/or American Indian children and families to conduct intergenerational programs to celebrate the cultural heritage of their communities.

The deadline to apply is coming up on April 1st, and in light of the current pandemic, there is some flexibility on how the grant money can be used this year.

If you are interested in this grant for your community here are some questions to consider before applying:

• Should I apply for the AIAN or APALA grant? You can only apply for one, so pick the grant that best fits your service area’s needs.
• Are there any community groups I could partner with to create programming that is culturally relevant and that will provide reliable resources for librarians to celebrate our communities’ Asian American, Pacific Islander American, or American Indian members?
• How can our proposed program support family literacy, intergenerational learning, and cultural literacy and identity?
• Are recent budget cuts making it more difficult to create programming and/or to buy relevant collection materials that reflect our service area’s population?

If your library receives the grant, you have until November 30th 2021 to use the funds. This year it might be impossible to conduct typical in person programming, so consider using this grant to hold a virtual program featuring dance or storytelling. Oral storytelling and performance traditions are valued customs of Asian, Pacific Islander, and American Indian cultures, and could be delivered through virtual platforms without diminishing the program’s authenticity. Other options could include creating an outdoor storywalk, providing your patrons with culturally relevant take and makes and literature to give a history of the craft, and expanding your library’s holdings of books, movies, and music that feature the culture and history of the Asian, Pacific Islander or American Indian members of your community. You can find the link to the application for the grant here and what past recipients have done here.

Further questions about the grant can be directed to:

Asian Pacific American Librarians Association
American Indian Library Association

If reading over the bulleted questions got your creative spark ignited, please consider submitting your application for this wonderful opportunity!

This blog addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group and III. Programming Skills

headshot of Melissa Sokol

Today’s post was written by Melissa Sokol. Melissa is a children’s services librarian for the Dayton Metro Library in Dayton, Ohio, and she is a member of ALSC’s Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee.

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