School Library Grant, Exhibition, and More Opportunities | NewsBites

There are a wealth of opportunities in this edition of NewsBites—from a earning school library grant or a social media superstar award, winning book donations and an exhibition possibly stopping at your branch.

It's a NewsBites of opportunities for school and public libraries and staff.


New School Library Grant from IMLS

While many federal agencies are closed by the government shutdown, a little bit of luck in budgetary legislation has the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) open for business. In past government shutdowns, IMLS was shuttered, but this time, its budget was attached to legislation that funded it through September, according to IMLS communications manager Elizabeth Holtan. While the organization is impacted in smaller ways by the closure of sister agencies it works with, according to Holtan, IMLS is taking and processing grant applications as usual.

One of its newest grant programs, Accelerating Promising Practices (APP) for Small Libraries , has three grant project categories, including “Transforming School Library Practice.”

“School libraries support learning and the development of critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration skills,” the IMLS press release said. “IMLS is interested in furthering how school library professionals can serve as integral instructional partners to classroom teachers. Grant projects could include programs and services that prepare students for success in college, career, and life, or foster early, digital, information, health, financial, media, civic, and other types of literacies.”

Grants will be awarded ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. Applications are due by Feb. 25. The other two categories in the grant are:

  • Community Memory: Libraries and archives not only serve as stewards of our nation’s knowledge and collections, but also as trusted spaces for community engagement and dialogue. This project category centers on engaging local communities in the collection, documentation, and preservation of their local histories, experiences, and identities. Proposals could include events and programs to digitize materials related to community histories, such as photographs, artifacts, or texts, or oral history projects that involve community members in the documentation and preservation of local histories.
  • Digital Inclusion: Libraries have an important role in promoting digital inclusion and increasing access to information, ideas, and networks. This category focuses on projects that support the role libraries play in promoting digital literacy, providing internet access, and enabling community engagement through civic data and civic technology. Grant proposals could include programs supporting broadband access and wireless networks to address the homework gap, increase small business development and entrepreneurship, or plan for emergency preparedness.

A webinar about the initiative can be viewed on the IMLS website before applying.


Apply for Touring Exhibition about Money

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and FINRA Investor Education Foundation has put together Thinking Money for Kids, a touring exhibition that aims to teach kids ages 7-11 about money: How do we earn it? How do we save and spend? The show presents topics such as fairness, charity and making responsible financial decisions. Featuring digital interactive content and hands-on activities, the exhibition will travel to 50 public libraries in the United States between 2019 and 2021.

Libraries can apply to be a stop on the tour.


Who is Your Social Media Superstar?

Nominations are now open for the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Social Media Superstar Awards . The awards recognize outstanding social media users within the school library profession. This year, the AASL Social Media Superstars will be recognized in eight categories: Advocacy Ambassador, Curriculum Champion, Leadership Luminary, Program Pioneer, Reader Leader, Sensational Student Voice, Social Justice Defender, and Tech Troubadour.

Any member of the school library community can nominate peers for recognition. Nominations must be received by 11:59 p.m. PT on Feb. 1. Finalists for each category will be announced on Feb. 22. Members of the public can then post endorsements through March 15. The winners in each category will be announced on April 1.


We Need Diverse Books Continues Books Giveaway

We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) is giving away classroom sets of the following diverse titles to schools and libraries in need: Dreamers by Yuyi Morales, Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed andFlying Lessons & Other Stories, edited by Ellen Oh, and The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta. Winning classrooms receive a set of at least 30 books of one the titles. Winners are asked to send photos of students with the books and short blurbs from the students about their new books, as well as signed release forms for WNDB to use photos and blurbs for future fundraising purposes. Interested teachers or librarians must apply before Jan. 18.

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