Scholastic Inc. and Bestselling Author Partner on School Media Center Assistance Program

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Posted by jim under Grants, Opportunities

scholastic.jpgBudget cuts are a perennial concern for libraries of all types, but particularly for school media centers. Compounding matters, Friends groups affiliated with these school libraries are often ineligible to apply for grant opportunities aimed at public libraries. 

Fortunately, Scholastic Inc., in partnership with bestselling mystery author James Patterson, recently rolled out a new assistance program. Librarians, teachers, Friends and parents are encouraged to apply for grants ranging from $1,000 - $10,000 to offset K-12 media center expenses. New materials, updated computer equipment, and space redesign expenses are all eligible for consideration. 

That’s not all. Scholastic Inc., through its Scholastic Reading Club, will match monetary awards dollar for dollar with ‘Bonus Points,’ good towards the purchase of a wide assortment of classroom and media center supplies. 

Applying is easy! Nominators should be prepared to explain, in just 300 words or less, how awarded funds would be spent. Pre-approval from school administration is strongly advised, as monies will only be distributed only  a vetting process in which the principal gives permission for consideration. Submit your application by May 31 at the very latest.

Better World Books Is Offering Enterprising Friends Groups A ‘Game Changing’ Grant

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Posted by jim under Grants, Opportunities

better_world_books.jpgCharity bookseller Better World Books operates on what it calls a "social enterprise" business model. Customers who place an order through that company can rest well knowing that their purchase will have an indirect but demonstrable impact on worthy literacy initiatives. Better World Books’ monetary donations to qualifying organizations have totaled $15 million to date. Unsurprisingly, libraries and their Friends are primary beneficiaries of much of this largess.

If your Friends of the Library group is looking to get a new literacy initiative off the ground any time between June 30, 2015 and January 31, 2016, Better World Books wants to help. Next month, the organization will grant up to $40,000 in support of such projects. (Contributions are capped at $15,000 per organization.)

Stipulations are few. As Better World Books notes, “the needs and opportunities of the communities libraries serve vary widely, so there are countless worthy projects to support.”

Best qualified applicants will have broad-based community support, a firm plan and timeline in place, and a track record of seeing multistage projects through to completion. Candidates who can prove that their proposed project is in some way “game changing” will get first consideration. Click here for more information.

Proposals are due no later than April 3. Winners will be notified of the outcome by May 12, and funds will be dispersed this summer. Click here to start your application!

Register Today for National Library Legislative Day 2015!

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Posted by jim under Advocacy, Events

NLLD.jpgNational Library Legislative Day (NLLD) 2015 is quickly approaching, and ALA and its partners are now accepting registrations for the May 4-5 slate of events in Washington, D.C.

Veteran advocates and new participants alike are encouraged to participate. Attendees will be treated to a day-long training session before the main event: meeting with the congressmen and women who represent you and are charting the future course for public libraries in America. It is a golden opportunity that comes but once a year!

Click here to learn more, and to reserve your space. (Please note that a full and detailed Legislative Day itinerary will not be available until late April. A platform detailing national library priorities will also be available at that time.)

Interested in attending NLLD, and looking for ways to defray the trip costs? Consider applying for a special stipend offered to non-librarian participants through the White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce (WHCLIST). Click here for full details. 

Now It's Time To Say 'Thank You' To Congressional Library Supporters

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Posted by jim under Advocacy

writing-clip-art-writing-clip-art-7.gifYou booked your appointments, prepared your talking points, attended the MLA orientation session, and, finally, had the opportunity to speak to your legislators on behalf of libraries as part of MLA/MEMO Library Legislative Day.

Now you’re done, right? Wrong. If you haven’t already, remember to follow up with a thank you note to the officials who took time out of their busy schedules to speak with you.

“Congressmen and their aides speak with many many people on any given day,” advises veteran congressional lobbyist and ‘Advocacy Guru’ Stephanie Vance. “Following up your five-minute conversation with a prompt thank you letter or email reiterating your main talking points can cement you in their memory… And you really don’t want to run the risk of being forgotten.”

Contact information for your congressperson in both the House and Senate is available through this government representative contact info search database hosted by the state Legislative Coordination Commission.