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‘Citizens-Save-Libraries’ Brings Professional Consultants to Needy Libraries, Friends

If you’ve always suspected your library would benefit from a professional consultation but balked at the price tag, ALA may have just the solution you’re seeking. Thanks to generous financial support from the Neal-Schuman Foundation, ALA is gearing up for the second and last round of its ‘Citizens-Save-Libraries’ grant program.

The program’s goals are twofold. First, Citizens-Save-Libraries aims to directly help ten libraries across the country which are facing acute budgetary challenges. Specifically, ALA will pay all costs associated with bringing a small team of expert advocates to those locations. Once ‘on the ground,’ these experts will help Friends and staff develop blueprints for effective advocacy aimed at saving or increasing the library’s budget.

If your library is not currently facing financial challenges of note, you can still benefit indirectly. Eligibility is contingent on the chosen libraries’ willingness to “pay it forward” by mentoring other libraries in their area and sharing insights in conferences and webinars. Check out the website to read about the Cycle 1 participants and what they had to say about library advocacy.

If your Friends group represents a library in need, consider applying for the current cycle. Be aware that you must be willing to provide a:

  • Minimum of five volunteers committed to working on a leadership team. Each member understands that this commitment may require at least weekly meetings for up to 90 days.
  • Leadership team available for two days of on-site, in-person training (approximately 4-5 hours each day) between June 1, 2013-May 1, 2014.
  • Local volunteer willing to become a “mentor” for other libraries in the state and/or region. (Mentor may be invited to participate in a one-time live webinar and may also be asked to give an advocacy program at state library conference.)
  • Support of the library’s Board of Trustees and support of the library director is also a requirement.

Click here to download the application. Note: You must submit your materials by Tuesday, April 15. Grantees will be notified by Thursday, May 15. Professional consultations will begin in June and continue through May 2015.