The American Library Association (ALA) announced on June 1 that the Fremont County Library System (FCLS) has been awarded one of only 77 national grants from the ALA COVID Library Relief Fund. The $20,000 grant will assist libraries that continue to experience substantial economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. The grantees include academic, correctional, public, school, and tribal libraries from 32 states and Puerto Rico. The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund is one of the largest non-federal grant opportunities for libraries.
The grant will help FCLS purchase print and digital books for public checkout, book kits for loan to school classrooms, books for children learning to read, and promotion of the library system’s services and resources throughout Fremont County.
Library Director Anita Marple commented, “This award is an important source for supplementing our budget during this difficult economic period. Thank you to ALA and Acton Family Giving for helping us in the most practical way to continue our mission of meeting the resource needs and desires of our whole community.”
The impact of the pandemic and the economic downturn resulted in a 47.2% reduction of the FCLS operating budget over two years. To meet the challenges of reduced staffing and loss of funding for purchasing collection materials, the Library has relied increasingly on the generous support of the Fremont County Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library groups. These volunteer organizations have funded temporary staffing during summer months and have been provided most of the funds for purchasing new materials, as well as supporting literacy programming.
FCLS Assistant Library Director Shari Haskins said, “All of this represents hard work and good communication among all our stakeholders. Library staff and volunteers are committed to maintaining a high level of service to our county citizens.”
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit www.ala.org.
About Acton Family Giving
Acton Family Giving supports distinct initiatives and collective efforts. Its Empathy Building Initiative, launched in 2014, partners with organizations building connections across difference and reaffirming our common humanity. This work is rooted in the belief that an empathetic society fosters stronger, healthier, and more just communities. Acton Family Giving is part of the Wildcard Giving philanthropic family.