$20,000 Grant Will Help the Library Work with Residents to Improve Access & Inclusion
The Marcellus Township Wood Memorial Library has been selected as one of 240 libraries to participate in Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that provides community engagement and accessibility resources to small and rural libraries to help them better serve people with disabilities.
The competitive award comes with a $20,000 grant that will help the library implement updates with a universal design approach. Universal Design aims to address the most common barriers, improving access and participation to the greatest number of people, across all ages and abilities.
“While our library has seen many updates since the original building was constructed in 1925, we’re aware of several opportunities for improvement to help everyone in our community feel welcome and supported in using the library. This grant is quite unique in that it really requires us to gather community feedback and adjust to our plans accordingly, to ensure we’re truly meeting the accessibility needs of our patrons,” explains library director, Patricia Buckhold.
As part of the grant, library staff will take an online course in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff will then host several conversations with residents about barriers to library usage and then use the grant funds to correct or improve the issues identified by community members.
If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, please contact the library at 269.646.9654, or e-mail email@example.com.
Since 2014, ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative has re-imagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types have utilized free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a space for residents to come together and discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff.
Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).