USD 452 receives ALA COVID grant for school library

The Telegram staff

JOHNSON CITY - Stanton County USD 452 is the recipient of a $30,000 American Library Association (ALA) COVID Library Relief grant to support library services and operations.

The school library is among 34 grantees representing academic, public, school, and tribal libraries to be supported with grants between $30,000 and $50,000 to increase and enhance technology access, collection development, digital instruction, staffing, and outreach, while maintaining and amplifying existing services through the end of 2021.

Colleen Kilbreath, director of the Stanton County Public Library met with DeAnn Gaddis, USD 452 librarian, and Dave Boggs, USD 452 middle school/high school principal, in April and presented a proposal and budget to support revitalizing the middle school/high school library with new furniture, technology, collection development, and other learning resources and opportunities.

The Public Library Board agrees to share and utilize existing staff, and the School Board and administration agree to the partnership and opportunity.

In the grant application, Kilbreath referenced an article in the School Library Journal, “Lacking Research Skills, Students Struggle. School Librarians Can Help Solve the College Readiness Gap”, by Wayne D’Orio which showed students heading off to college and into life are not prepared. The grant funding provides the opportunity for partnership with the public library to bring back to USD 452 a library in the middle school/high school building.

“We will be able to meet the students, parents, faculty and administration where they are. As the public library director, my mission is to bring to USD452 an opportunity to provide educational learning support, to make learning fun, easy, and manageable, and to offer as many opportunities to our students and community as a bridge from high school to beyond,” Kilbreath said.

The school library will be equipped with new technology to include a SmartTV for online learning, workshops and meetings, a laptop, an iPad, and five MIFI hotspots to support online learning. The library will get additional tables and chairs and lounge chairs. There will be new books, books for classroom collections, books for a book club, and meet-the-author events. The library will be a space for guest speakers, workshops, and programs to support lifelong learning and working together.

The ALA COVID Relief Fund is supported by Acton Family Giving as a part of its pandemic responsive grant making. Initial seed funding was provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as a part of its efforts to bolster educational and cultural organizations. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Through their grants, they seek to build communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.