Montague Public Libraries Receive National Grant For Small and Rural Libraries

$20,000 Grant Will Help the Library Work with Residents with Disabilities on Developing an ADA Compliant Website and Assistive Technology Collections

The Montague Public Libraries have been selected as one of 310 libraries to participate in round two of Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that provides community engagement and accessibility resources to small and rural libraries to help them better serve people with disabilities.

The competitive award comes with a $20,000 grant that will help the library better serve those in the community with vision impairments or hearing loss by providing access to assistive technology, information about local resources, and an ADA compliant library website.

“Working with the Montague Mass in Motion team gave me an understanding of the challenges that many seniors in our community with vision or hearing impairments face,” said Library Director Caitlin Kelley. “This grant will allow our library to get to know our residents with disabilities better. It will help us improve our services and empower those facing challenges to provide input on in the collections and resources designed for them.”

Honoring the disability advocates’ motto, “nothing about us without us,” library staff will facilitate community forums, surveys, and one-on-one conversations with members of our target audience. Feedback will be collected to identify residents’ assistive technology needs and grant funds will be used to purchase both circulating and non-circulating collections of assistive devices and to create an accessible library website and local resource page. The libraries will also develop an accessibility plan, policies, and staff training to support equitable library programming, services, and spaces.

If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, please contact Caitlin Kelley, Montague Library Director at librarydirector@montague-ma.gov, or call the Carnegie Public Library at (413) 863-3214 ext. 6.

Since 2014, ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative has re-imagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types have utilized free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a space for residents to come together and discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff.

“Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).”