Magazine article American Libraries

Money Matters

Magazine article American Libraries

Money Matters

Article excerpt

The Business of Literacy

Libraries across the country are doing their best to cash in on increasing national concern about literacy by pursuing supplemental outreach funding.

* Los Angeles Public Library was particularly successful in early February, when it won a $397,000 grant from the Beverly Hills-based Ahmanson Foundation to support a yearlong family-literacy focus in celebration of LAPL's 125th anniversary.

Among the programs the grant is funding are "Grandparents and Books," which encourages youngsters and older adults to read together, and the "Reading Club," which encourages children to read recreationally. Other activities supported by the gift are storytelling, puppet shows, musical performances, and craft workshops.

Noting that the grant brings the Ahmanson's total contributions to the library to $1 million, LAPL Public Relations Director Bob Reagan said, "The library is gratified that the Ahmanson Foundation feels its previous contributions have borne enough fruit" to warrant another investment.

Reagan told American Libraries that the foundation's other grants have involved outreach efforts to "let people who're more comfortable in another language know that they're welcome in the library" through the development of welcome brochures and phone messages (the latter about to be launched) in seven languages.

* Equally intent on making Hispanic residents welcome, Plano (Tex.) Public Library's Gladys Harrington branch has purchased more than 250 Spanish-language books with $10,000 in grants the library has received from the Plano Rotary, the Rotary Club of Vallejo, Mexico, and Rotary International.

The transborder support was the result of PPL Director Maribelle Davis's membership in the local Rotary, which enabled her to apply for a grant, Harrington branch Manager Ann Womack told AL. Another Plano Rotarian with connections to Vallejo ultimately sweetened the service club's donation.

"We have to break down some cultural walls," librarian Mayra Diaz-Archin explained of the effort, noting that the only libraries in many Latin American countries "are found in academic environments and are not open to the public." Harrington Library's other programmatic jackhammers include partnerships with local Head Start, English for Speakers of Other Languages, and English as a Second Language initiatives. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.