A $10,000 grant will go towards improving the services offered by the Neill Public Library.
The Neill Public Library received a $10,000 grant from The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to better develop library services that connect readers to librarians.
Cheryl Brinkley, the Adult Services librarian at Neill Public Library, said she was involved in applying for the grant from the beginning and was very excited to hear the Allen Foundation accepted it.
“When (the Allen Foundation) called me to tell me, I actually screamed in the woman’s ear,” she said. “I was so, so excited.” Brinkley explained that the type of grant made to Neill Public Library was called a “reader’s advisory grant,” which is a service in public libraries that connects readers with other books and materials they would enjoy.
She said the grant will be used to further train the library staff, purchase two new online resources and to schedule a presentation with Nancy Pearl, a well-known literary advocate and librarian from the Seattle area.
Lisa Arnold, grants manager of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, said the foundation gives out about $15 million a year. She also said the foundation has a specific program for libraries.
Arnold explained that in the past the foundation had given a lot of capital grants out to libraries to help with their buildings and infrastructure. “This past year we made grants totaling a little more than $400,000 (to libraries),” she said. “And we actually started a new initiative in 2010 called ‘Making Connections.'”
The new initiative reflects the foundation’s interest in developing the relationship between libraries and their communities, Arnold said. “We wanted to see how the library could reach out to the community and attract patrons to use the library,” Arnold said.
The Neill Library’s reader’s advisory grant is an example of the type of project that will better this relationship, she said.
“Reader’s advisory is a way for the librarian to get to know the patron and be able to make recommendations on the kinds of books they want to read,” she said.
Arnold said this type of library service was of particular interest to the foundation because Paul Allen’s parents were both librarians, and the relationship librarians have with the reading public is very important to the family.