ALA invites library workers to apply for a new annual grant to support innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries.
The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant  will provide $2,000 for a school, public, academic, tribal or special library to expand its community engagement efforts. Libraries are invited to apply by designing and outlining activities for a library-led community engagement project.
Project activities to be covered by the grant may include developing community engagement programs and services; partnering with a community agency that builds the capacity of the community to address an important concern/issue; or creating a program or event that connects the library to a community-identified aspiration or concern.
Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with community members ¬— be they library users, residents, faculty, students or local organizations — to address issues for the betterment of the community.
Applications will be accepted between Dec. 2, 2019, and Feb. 3, 2020. View the full award guidelines and apply online at www.ala.org/LTCEG .
In May 2019, ALA announced that it had surpassed its original $50,000 fundraising goal to support the creation of the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, raising a total of $70,000 from 130 individuals. The initiative was made possible by a matching grant from former ALA president and longtime generous supporter Nancy Kranich.
“Thanks to our work in ALA, libraries of all types have unleashed the power of engaging their communities, working collaboratively to advance their aspirations and concerns, particularly for those voices rarely heard,” said Kranich, a past president of ALA who teaches a new generation of civically focused librarians in the Masters of Information program at Rutgers University. “I’m grateful that so many people have stepped forward to join me in supporting this vital work. Together, we can ensure that more libraries develop and share innovative approaches that demonstrate what’s possible when we turn outward toward our communities.”
The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant is part of Libraries Transform Communities (LTC), ALA’s community engagement initiative. Since 2014, LTC has reimagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types, from across the country, have utilized the free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a safe space for residents to come together to discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff. Learn more at ala.org/LTC.
LTC is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office.