Two branches of the Prairie River Library District have been selected among 200 other libraries nationwide to participate in Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that helps library workers better serve their small and rural communities.

The competitive award comes with a $3,000 grant that will help each library expand their connection to their community. Kamiah Community Library, 505 Main St., and Nezperce Community Library, 602 4th Ave., were notified of their awards last week.

“We are so proud to be chosen for this amazing opportunity,” said PRLD Interim Director Lisa Puckett. “This grant will allow our libraries to get to know our residents better and help us build a happier and healthier communities for our families.”

As part of the grant, library staff have taken an online course in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff from each branch will host a virtual conversation with residents about plans to use the grant funds. If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, please contact April at 208-935-0428 in Kamiah or Terra at 208-937-2548 in Nezperce.

More than 300 libraries applied for the grant, according to ALA. Kamiah and Nezperce libraries were the first in Idaho to receive these awards.

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: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).”

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