Saturday, May 18, 2024

NCW Libraries receives national grant for small, rural libraries

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WENATCHEE — NCW Libraries 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 NCW Libraries make improvements to the overall accessibility of the buildings they occupy in Brewster and Peshastin. These projects will be completed in coordination with the Library’s Reimagining Spaces project, a district-wide initiative to improve interior library spaces.

“We are so proud to be chosen for this amazing opportunity,” said Kim Neher, NCW Libraries Deputy Director. “This grant will allow us to partner with residents in Brewster and Peshastin who have difficulty accessing and navigating their local library. We believe libraries are for everyone, and we want to strive to remove any barriers to access that the public might face.”

As part of the grant, NCW Libraries staff will take an online course on leading community conversations, a vital skill for today’s library workers. Staff will then host local conversations with residents about barriers to library access and will use the grant funds to identify key building improvements to address those barriers.

The Brewster and Peshastin libraries were identified as candidates for funding because both buildings have accessibility challenges and interior space remodels were already planned for the buildings in the coming year. To get involved or join the conversation, please contact Tim Dillman at tdillman@ncwlibraries.org, or visit ncwlibraries.org/reimagining-spaces for more information.

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).” The Brewster Public Library and the Peshastin Public Library are branches of NCW Libraries. NCW Libraries’ mission is to connect the people of North Central Washington with resources and opportunities that foster individual growth and strengthen communities. NCW Libraries’ Reimagining Spaces project is a multi-year

initiative to make interior space improvements at 27 libraries across Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Okanogan, and Ferry Counties.

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