ALA rural library program awards $3,000 grant to Jamaica Public Library

Contributed news from Jamaica Public Library

Jamaica Public Library has been selected as one of 200 libraries across the country to participate in the Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that helps library workers better serve their small and rural communities.

The competitive award comes with a $3,000 grant that will help the library facilitate a community-wide discussion on developing the unused second story of the library building on Main Street in downtown Jamaica.

“This grant will help us bring community members together to discuss how to improve the use of our building and to gain input on how we can work together to bring other improvements to Main Street and throughout the community,” said Alan Robinson, library director.

“The grant funds will help us advertise and market the community-wide meeting,” he said. “It also allows us funds to start work on upgrading and remodeling the second story space. We are really excited about getting this project moving forward.”

As project director, Robinson is participating in three webinars that support the Libraries Transforming Communities process and an online training program for facilitating discussions.

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: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is an initiative of the ALA in collaboration with the American Association for Rural and Small Libraries.