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Awarded Grants Search
The State Library of Iowa will partner with the Iowa Arts Council to adapt elements of the Creative Aging Toolkit for Public Libraries for use in rural settings, fostering relationships between 18 rural public libraries with nonprofit arts organizations or artists. The project will offer free art classes for older Iowans in public libraries, engaging them with participatory, skills-based arts programing that meets their creative, cognitive, and social needs. This project adapts existing resources previously funded by IMLS and developed by the Westchester Library System in partnership with AARP Foundation, American Library Association's Public Program Office, Selfhelp Community Services, and Lifetime Arts.
The San Jose State University School of Information iSchool will investigate ways that blockchain technology can be used by libraries to partner with other organizations and to support city or community goals. Blockchain technology is a shared digital/electronic ledger featuring a constantly updated list of transactions. It is supported by a peer-to-peer network that may be either public or private. This technology has the potential to help libraries develop a distributed metadata system; facilitate better digital rights management; and create a protocol for supporting community based collections. The proposed National Forum would bring together 20-30 technical experts in libraries, blockchain technology, and urban planning to discuss ways that blockchain technology can advance library services to support city or community goals. The resulting commentary from a project blog, national forum, and conference and the survey data will be evaluated and included in the project's final report, which will be available online. The recommendations will serve as a guide for both large and small, urban and rural libraries to implement blockchain technology or consider other directions.
Through a National Forum grant, Simmons College will organize a symposium comprised of panels, workshops, and brainstorming sessions for up to 70 stakeholders on the role of library and allied institutions as community anchors for information access and literacy. The forum will focus on how libraries can serve as hubs for professionals across disciplines to promote information literacy. Working with related professionals, such as journalists, social media experts and educators, participants will produce a white paper, curricula to develop information literacy, a research agenda, and recommendations for LIS programs and associations that prepare librarians to implement information literacy programs.
University of Missouri's School of Information Science & Learning Technologies, in partnership with the Hook Center for Educational Renewal, will study the role of rural school libraries as anchors for community mental health literacy efforts. The university will examine the capacity of school libraries to work in this space and document existing efforts and practices. The assessment will inform recommendations for a national agenda for school libraries and school librarians to strengthen policy, research, technical assistance, and training on mental health literacy for schools and communities. The project team will also produce a state-specific best practices resource guide featuring indigenous mental health literacy initiatives that other states can adapt to serve their own communities.
The University of Wisconsin, Drexel University, and the University of Oklahoma will conduct research and develop screen media education training modules for public librarians working with parents and other caregivers of children ages 5 to 11. Working in six different public libraries in three different geographic areas, Navigating Screens will gather a rich set of data based on interviews and surveys to help librarians across the country deliver programs for parents and caregivers to become effective media use mentors and educators. The research will result in a set of locally-adaptable educational products, including a model of how caregivers make decisions related to their screen media practices; resources about screen media; an evaluation matrix caregivers and practitioners can use when selecting and evaluating information sources related to screen media practices; and replicable training modules for librarians and community organizations to use to strengthen their expertise when assisting parents.
The University of Kentucky, in collaboration with the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives, the State Library of Indiana, and the State Library of Ohio, will conduct a three-year research project to investigate public library storytime programs' support of school readiness of young children. The research team will videorecord 72 storytime sessions in 36 public libraries across three states to observe interactions between librarians, children, and adult participants and administer two surveys: one to parents/caregivers and one to librarians. Based on findings and a comprehensive needs assessment, the team will develop guidelines and digital learning modules to train librarians and other community program providers. Because few studies of adult-child interactions or the language environment of young children have taken place in informal learning contexts beyond the classrooms and homes of young children and little empirical evidence exists regarding the development of high quality public library storytime programming, the project will contribute substantially to the professional knowledge base.
Indiana University's Department of Library and Information Services will explore community data reusers' practices across multiple states, including Michigan, Texas, and Massachusetts, to offer insights into developing and adapting public-library services to meet community data reusers' needs. The project team will support community members' data reuse by connecting them with existing resources and data infrastructure as well as helping them understand their data practices and reuse workflow. The project team will describe 30 community members' data-reuse practices and strategies and map the practices and strategies to existing infrastructure, focusing on public libraries. The team will also conduct a study of 15 librarians to investigate their roles in supporting their communities' data needs, efforts, services, challenges, and opportunities and the knowledge and skills librarians need to effectively deploy data services. Results will support development of a theoretical model of community-inclusive data exchange/workflow and collaborative work with partner libraries to design prototype library services.
The University of Colorado Boulder's Information Science Department, in collaboration with Boulder Public Library and Denver Public Library, will conduct a study to understand cultivation of computational literacy among parents and children. Up to 100 family members, including children ages 4-7, will create and learn together using design-based activities with computing during workshops facilitated by library staff. Researchers will use design-based research incorporating ethnographic approaches and the Connected Learning framework. The work will result in a model of family engagement with young children in computational literacy, resources for librarians, including a facilitator guide, project website, webinars and professional development at conferences, and evidence-based case studies of family participation and library facilitation. Children and parents will get first-hand experience with creative technologies; partner libraries will have increased capacity to engage children and families in computational literacy; and more libraries will be able to provide computational literacy opportunities for young children and families.
The Center for Technology in Government at the University of Albany, in partnership with the American Library Association's Center for the Future of Libraries, will explore the role of public libraries as community anchors in smart city initiatives to understand how public libraries can advance their role as community anchors by contributing to the community's understanding of and participation in smart city initiatives. This three-year project will use a multi-method research approach and include a literature and current practices review; case studies of Ignacio Community Library in Colorado, Saratoga Springs Public Library in New York, Chattanooga Public Library in Tennessee, and Chicago Public Library in Illinois; and a national survey. The project will result in increased and sustained relationships among public libraries, local governments, researchers, and community organizations; an Opportunity Agenda, Roadmap Report, and Smart Libraries Toolbox to guide libraries willing to advance their role as community anchors and catalysts; and demonstrable improvements in library services.
Brooklyn Public Library will partner with Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (PDI), and Business Outreach Centers to develop Growing Providers, a seven-session program designed to help aspiring childcare providers successfully apply for New York State registration as family childcare providers, while also providing them librarian-led training on early literacy and business resources. Growing Providers builds on a recent, highly successful pilot project conducted at BPL's New Lots Library that assisted new and existing immigrants in registering for a state license as family childcare providers. Growing Providers will provide librarian-led training in highly effective early childhood early literacy activities and access to valuable business information and guidance, affirming that libraries can serve as providers of job training and economic engines rather than simply as facilitators and points of access.