West Haven Library has been selected as one of 200 libraries nationwide for the American Library Association’s American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries opportunity, an emergency relief program to assist libraries that have been adversely affected by the pandemic.
With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, West Haven Library will use funds to anchor itself in the community as a strong humanities institution. The competitive award comes with a $10,000 grant that will help the library deliver excellent programs and services related to culture, history, literature, and other humanities subjects.
More than 370 libraries applied for the grant, according to ALA. View the full list of selected libraries.
The participating libraries, selected through a competitive, peer-reviewed application process, include public libraries, academic/college libraries, K-12 libraries, and tribal, special and prison libraries. The recipients represent 45 states and Puerto Rico and serve communities ranging in size from 642 residents in Weir, Kansas, to the city of Los Angeles. Libraries were chosen with an emphasis on reaching historically underserved and/or rural communities.
“We are so happy to have been chosen for this amazing opportunity from ALA and NEH,” said Library Director Colleen Bailie. “This grant will enable us to enhance our reach to at risk youth in our community and expand outreach services as we come out of the pandemic.”
West Haven Library will use the grant funds to enhance our summer literacy program. For the past six years, we have offered tutoring and summer reading kits for kids to encourage reading for at risk children. This grant will enable us to expand the program. This grant also will make it possible to expand Bookmobile services in the Allingtown area until we have a new branch in place. The Piantino Branch was closed in September of 2020 when the building the library was housed in for 42 years was sold.
“Libraries have faced significant hardships throughout the pandemic —from budget cuts to staff furloughs to building closures — especially in our communities of the greatest need,” said ALA President Patty Wong. “This crucial support from NEH will enable our beloved institutions, and the dedicated people who run them, to rebuild and emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.”