Awards & Scholarships

Apply Now for Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program Grant

It may seem like summer reading just ended, but many of us are already planning what our programs will look like for next year. As you envision Summer Reading 2021, would an extra $3,000 help your program to be more innovative? ALSC and the Programs and Services Recognition Committee are now accepting online applications for the ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Grant. This $3,000 grant is designed to encourage reading programs for children in public libraries, while recognizing ALSC members for outstanding program development. Due to COVID-19, the committee will consider proposals for virtual programming, as well as in-person programs which can take into account public health and safety measures Each application will be judged on the following: The plan and outline submitted for a theme-based summer reading program in a public library Program ideas that are open to all children (birth – 14 years) The committee encourages innovative proposals involving…

Blogger ALSC Membership Committee

Get Involved in ALSC

So you’ve joined ALSC, what next? This post is for anyone looking to get involved in ALSC. There are several current and upcoming opportunities for ALSC members that I want to share with you today. Tune in to a Committee Meeting While many of the selection committees have closed meetings, did you know that all ALSC process committee meetings are open to ALSC members? Serving on a process committee is a fun way to get involved in ALSC while contributing meaningful work and getting to know fellow library workers all over the country. You can find agendas and schedules for upcoming meetings on the ALSC Community space on ALA Connect.  Sitting in on a committee meeting is a great way to find out more about the work that our organization is doing and to “try on” committees to see where you might want to get involved in ALSC. It’s also…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Candlewick “Light the Way” Grant: Meet our Previous Winners

If you are wondering if your project would be a good fit for the Light the Way Grant you are not alone. I am going to share a bit about some of our most recent winners and a few pointers on what we look for when we are reviewing applications to help you create a successful application. What are we looking for? Unique & innovative programs Specific details about the population and its needs Thorough details about the proposed program with clear explanations of how the program fills the population’s needs in a way that isn’t currently being met Project coordinator has made community partnerships, but those partnerships only partially fill a need; we are looking for a demonstration of efforts to connect with others in the community in order to expand services Very specific timeline and budget A Few of Our Amazing Winners: New Carrollton Library, Literacy & Library…

Blogger Meg Smith

Summertime Kids Means Summertime Fun

Though 4th of July has come and gone, summer reading is still in full swing. A critical part of our summer reading initiatives is our outreach programming to provide resources to youth unable to visit the library. One of our most successful outreach programs is our involvement with Summertime Kids. The Friends of the Cumberland County Public Library, Inc. recently received a $10,000.00 Summertime Kids Grant through Cumberland Community Foundation, Inc. to provide books and book bags to youth involved in Summertime Kids camps. Summertime Kids camps provide summer resources and experiences to youth from underserved communities, and public library staff partner with camp sites to provide books and book bags to participants. During Summertime Kids programming, youth services staff encourage campers to develop their skills in choosing reading materials as participants select two books they take home to begin or add to their home libraries. Children and teens also…

Blogger Meg Smith

No Summer Break When Planning School Partnerships

It may be tempting to focus on partnerships with the school system just during the traditional school year; however, planning partnerships year round can help ensure planning is collaborative and programs are maximized. For Cumberland County Public Library and Information Center in North Carolina, we have several projects in the planning stages that will serve as opportunities for collaboration between the school system and the public library during the next year. Cumberland County Coding Camps Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center partnered with Cumberland County Schools and Workforce Development Board to provide free coding camps to underserved youth in the community to strengthen skills in digital literacy. These week long summer day camps are housed in low income neighborhoods in community recreation centers. Participants gain skills through daily coding sessions on topics of interest to them. Youth gain insight from area speakers sharing details of their military and technology…

Grants and Fundraising

1876 Club – An Interview with Courtney Young and Andrew Medlar

Often it can be uncomfortable to think about or talk about the end of one’s life. None of us really wants to consider our own death, let alone how we want our assets handled after we are gone. However, such conversations are not only important but necessary. We may think that only celebrities or wealthy people need to worry about estate planning, but if you own a home, have a savings account, a life insurance policy, or even a few stocks, no matter how small, you should have an estate plan. While each person has their own considerations for such planning, I’d like to share an idea, a new program created by ALA. Named for the year of ALA’s founding, the 1876 Club is a planned giving program for ALA members under 50 years old. Planned giving, often called legacy giving, is a way to leave a specific amount of…

Blogger Meg Smith

Grant Revitalizes Deposit Collections after Hurricane Matthew

Sometimes our programs and services can be discontinued through no fault of our own, and we have to think outside the box to re-envision this work. This was the case for us when Hurricane Matthew caused major flooding to our community in 2016. Our deposit collection services, located in the lower level of our Headquarters Library of Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, N.C., sustained severe damage when flooding damaged all central operations. Deposit collections provided a lending library of rotating, gently used, discarded children’s materials. These collections were sent to child care facilities and other community organizations serving youth. These child care facilities qualified for services because the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education ranked these centers with low ratings of one, two, or three stars. Each facility also served a minimum of ten children. The majority of users receiving deposit collection services…

Blogger Meg Smith

Grant Supports Early Literacy and Family Corners

Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, NC established interactive Early Literacy Family (ELF) Corners at all eight locations to encourage families to develop pre-reading skills with their children from birth through five years old. ELF Corners enrich children’s learning through interactive manipulatives to encourage children and their caregivers to talk, sing, read, write, and play. Board books, games, puzzles and imaginative play resources support interactions between adult and child. Youth Services librarians utilize these engaging manipulatives to model Every Child Ready to Read best practices and promote books and resources through individual consultations with adults to strengthen pre-reading skills. Impromptu story time experiences demonstrated effective reading techniques. ELF Corners provide a non-threatening environment for new families to engage in literacy activities. As a parent summarized her early literacy experiences for her child, “every time I walk into my library, I never leave disappointed. My daughter is more…