The Robeson County Public Library has received excellent news regarding multiple grant projects.
Three grants were awarded to RCPL and a project in which the library is a grant partner also received funding. The project topics are strategic planning, COVID-19 response, summer reading book giveaways, and improving literacy access and resources to American Indian children and families.
The library received one of the 49 competitive grants for fiscal year 2020-21 awarded to North Carolina libraries from this year’s federal allotment of $4,788,098. The Library Service and Technology Act grant program administered by the State Library of North Carolina funds library projects across the state that advance excellence and promote equity by strengthening capacity, expanding access and community engagement in North Carolina’s libraries.
This grant was supported by funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-246155-OLS-20).
The library received a $26,025 grant to be used for strategic planning to better serve the citizens of Robeson County. The RCPL intends to orient the library services and spaces to meet the evolving needs of our diverse community. A new five-year strategic plan will be needed to appropriately capture community and stakeholder input. Anthony Chow, CEO of Strategic Performance Systems, LLC and an associate professor of the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will be the consultant managing the project. The project is underway and the Strategic Steering Committee is being formed. There will be multiple opportunities for community input throughout the project, which will run through May 2021. More information will be released this fall.
The library also received a $4,000 COVID-19 Response mini-grant over the summer. These funds were available to assist N.C. libraries adapt to challenges presented by the pandemic. This grant strengthened our capacity by helping us buy protective supplies for staff and cleaning supplies for our facilities. We purchased disinfectants, gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, book bags for Express Checkout and face shields. This project was supported by grant friends from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act, as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-19-0034-19).
The RCPL received a $1,500 grant from the Robeson County Community Foundation, a component fund of the North Carolina Community Foundation, to buy scholastic books to give away to children at the end of our summer reading program! The library’s goal for this grant is to give each child that visits the library in August a free book to add to their home library. We were able to purchase 800 books with the grant funds. We are combining these books with more scholastic books purchased by the Friends of the Robeson County Public Library to host our Dragontastic Book Giveaway starting Monday. Between the two funding sources, we have more than 2,000 books to give away to children ages 12 and younger!
Lastly, RCPL was notified that the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Department of Library and Information Science was awarded a federal Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant for $1.4 million to fund the Reading Nation Waterfall: Increasing Access to Literacy and Libraries for Native American Children and Families. The RCPL will serve as a strategic partner over the course of this three-year grant. This project was one of only 38 selected out of a pool of 155 applications. The awarded grants for all 38 projects total $9,986,563 in funding.
According to the official IMLS award notification, UNCG, “in partnership with The National Head Start Association and representatives for each of the five Reading Nation Chapters — Crow (Montana), Eastern Band of Cherokee (North Carolina), Lumbee (North Carolina), Northern Cheyenne (Montana) and Santo Domingo Pueblo (New Mexico) — will increase access to literary resources and libraries for Native American children and families.
“The anticipated outcomes of the project will be increased convenience and access to free, librarian curated children’s books for Native American children, increased culturally relevant library programming and resources, and the formation of strategic local partnerships between cross-disciplinary organizations working together to improve literacy. In partnership with local and national library associations and community organizations, the project also will develop and disseminate a Native American literacy and library model that can be replicated.”
The project begins in August and more information will be made available as we move forward. Anthony Chow is the project director.
The RCPL is honored to be a part of such an important project that will benefit the American Indian community in Robeson County!
Even in challenging times, the Robeson County Public Library is working hard to bring new projects and ideas to our county. We look forward to these projects and thank all the funders who made them possible. For more information about your library system, visit www.robesoncountylibrary.org.