Sundown Library

Sundown Library among 200 libraries awarded ALA community engagement grant

Sundown Library among 200 libraries awarded ALA community engagement grant

In September 2020, ALA announced plans to award nearly $2 million to small and rural libraries in 2020 and 2021 to help them address issues of concern in their communities. Up to 650 U.S. libraries in small and rural communities will receive $3,000 to tackle issues ranging from media literacy to COVID-19 safety to unemployment. The initiative is part of ALA’s longtime commitment to preparing library workers for the expanding role of libraries.

The American Library Association (ALA) recently announced the first 200 recipients of its “Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Focus on Small and Rural Libraries” grants. The first 200 grant recipients — public, academic, school and tribal libraries — represent 43 states. Nine Texas libraries were selected, one being the City of Sundown Library. 

Awarded libraries will complete an ALA e-course on basic facilitation skills; host at least one conversation with community members on a chosen topic; and receive $3,000 to support community engagement efforts. Grant funds may cover a range of expenses, including staff time, collections, and technology purchases.

The City of Sundown Library’s focus is accessibility to electronic books and garnering the technology to participate in such offerings. Library Director A’ndrea McAdams will be the conversation facilitator for the spring meeting with a volunteer committee representing various community members and school representatives. The goal is to dialogue about the benefits of e-books, especially during summer reading or pandemic shut downs, and formulate a plan to offer access to families.

This grant is the first the library has received on a national level. The City of Sundown Library has received three grants from the generous Tocker Foundation for programming and collections, as well as receiving the TLA’s Branding Iron award in 2020. The library is a member of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries, the Texas Library Association, and the Central Texas Library System.