MCPL receives national grant for small, rural libraries

Posted 11/13/21

The Montgomery City Public Library has been selected as one of 100 libraries to participate in round three of Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an American …

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MCPL receives national grant for small, rural libraries

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The Montgomery City Public Library has been selected as one of 100 libraries to participate in round three of Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an American Library Association initiative that helps library workers better serve their small and rural communities.


The competitive award comes from a $3,000 grant that will help the library connect with community members about issues facing Montgomery City through book sets and community conversations.

“We are very proud to be chosen for this incredible opportunity,” MCPL director Gaylee Harris said. “This grant will allow our library to get to know our residents better and help us build a happier and healthier community for our families and patrons.”

As part of the grant, the MCPL staff will take an online course in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff will use grant money to purchase book sets for book clubs and patrons to read and then host in-person conversations with residents about the book topic.

The first book to be read and discussed is “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance, which deals with poverty in a rural setting. The library hopes that a community conversation will enable residents to better understand the experiences and issues of others. The second community read will be “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” by Kim Michelle Richardson. The discussion will focus on generating ideas of getting more community members to use the library.

If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, please contact Harris at mcplmo@gmail.com or 573-564-8022 for more information.

MCPL joins a list of over 500 small and rural libraries representing 48 states who have previously received the community engagement grants this year. Approximately half of the libraries funded in the current round are repeat grantees, having previously participated in an earlier phase of the community engagement initiative.

MCPL is one of five libraries in Missouri to receive the grant. The others are Maplewood Public Library, Library Haven in Noel, Ste. Genevieve County Library and Washington Public Library.

This year, nearly $2 million has been awarded to small and rural libraries to help them address issues of concern in their communities.

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