2017-2018 Outreach Mini Grants Awarded

Thank you everyone for applying for our 2017-2018 Outreach Mini-Grant cycle! It was a very difficult decision from our COSAC team but we were able to fund the following projects:

Candor Free Library

Project: Craft and Activity Corner

Goal: To provide a space and material for kids to do craft/art projects and explore their creativity. We are hoping by having a better variety of craft, art and other activity supplies continually available and better organized, we will attract more children and families to the library. This project will enable us to introduce people to our craft resources as well as other library materials. Even our current small basket of supplies has given kids an outlet (besides computer games) for free time fun, learning and socializing. One example is a young special needs child that comes in regularly with her social worker. Her social worker has been trying to encourage her to be more comfortable speaking to other people etc. We were able to help her with a school project using our craft materials and she really seemed to open up sharing her project and talking about it.

Awarded: $425


Stewart B. Lang Memorial Library – Cato

Project: Staying Connected with Stories

The object of this story project is to increase the interaction of senior citizens and the home bound persons with their family members. It will help long-distance grandparents bond with their grandchildren; creating a feeling of value as well as decrease the feelings of isolation many senior citizens experience. To achieve this, participants will use the on-line service www.astorybeforebed.com, where users record themselves reading a children’s book. A link to the recording is then e-mailed to the family member who can watch the story at the time of their choosing, such as bedtime, with breakfast or after school. Users can personalize the stories by including their own messages or words. Seniors will have the satisfaction that, even though they may not be with their family members, they are a valued member of their family.

Awarded: $1,500


Cortland Free Library

Project: Read It! See It!

The overall goal of the Read It! See It! program is to promote teen literacy in the Cortland area. Asking teens to read a book as well as watch a film will encourage them to analyze the differences and similarities, and voice their opinions. Facilitating this kind of conversation promotes intellectual curiosity. A book discussion will also show the reading comprehension of the participating teens and will build their debate and discussion skills. Furthermore, teens’ lives are flooded with social media, online content, television, and movies. It is safe to assume that most teens feel comfortable around those formats of media and by offering a book to movie club, teens that are not traditionally readers may be attracted to the library by the movie. Any program that promotes books in a nontraditional way has the potential ability to spark a lifelong love of reading. During this program the library hopes to attract more teens to the library. We also hope to get more books into teens’ hands so that they are able to build their own home libraries and share books with friends, building a culture of readers. The program will encourage more students to become involved with the library and to attend library programs and become lifelong library supporters.

Awarded: $1,589.04


Southworth Library Association – Dryden

Project: Book Club with Residents at William George Agency

The Book Club for the Teens in residence at the William George is modeled after the ALA Great Stories program. It is a thematic reading and discussion program series developed to engage at-risk teens through a literature-based program. We provide the paperback books for each participant to keep as their own, and create opportunities for exploration and discussion of relevant content. We hope to engage youth facing difficult circumstances with powerful works of young adult literature. We facilitate personal connection with the themes identified while providing emotional support and encouraging reading and personal reflection and discussion of past actions. The program provides important connections between at-risk youth, their public library, and community resources which have proven to be important to success after incarceration, treatment, or during other transitions;

The program also seeks to make a positive impact at the institutional and community level by strengthening the partnership between the library and the William George Agency.

Awarded: $930


Groton Public Library

Project: GrotonCon Summer Reading Kickoff 2017

The overall goal is to engage and connect with the youth of our community and create excitement about Libraries. Summer reading is a vital part of a child’s literacy development. Those that do not continue to read over the summer will often fall behind in the next school year, a phenomenon known as the ‘Summer Slide.” At the Groton Public Library, we continue to encourage summer readers with a robust summer reading program. And as a way to get more children excited and enrolled in Summer Reading, we host an annual ‘GrotonCon’, a Summer Reading Kick-Off Party designed like a mini-ComicCon. Last year was our second year hosting a kick-off party specific to our Summer Reading Program, and it was a huge success. Many children, from babies to teenagers, came dressed in super hero costumes to match our summer reading theme, which gave the event a ComicCon vibe. This year, we are once again running with the ComicCon theme, which is already creating excitement in Groton. Our Summer Reading Program will have over 20 events, spanning all ages, in Groton. However, this is the most important of all the events, as it sets the stage for the rest of the summer. Therefore, we are heavily investing in the kick-off ComicCon party to ensure the entire program gets off to an exciting and engaging start.

Awarded: $530


Lodi Whittier Library

Project: After School Story Time

The goal of this project is to provide quality, fun, after school activities for the children of Lodi in order to encourage a love of reading and familiarity with our library. We currently are not offering any story hour programs for children, but, as we move into our new facility, we want to expand our offerings and reach out to previously untapped users.

Awarded: $2,000


Peck Memorial Library

Project: Brave New World

We would like to expose the children in Marathon to a variety of programs during the summer reading program. We would like to encourage the children to read throughout the summer. Marathon is a small rural community where the emphasis is on sports. The library has an opportunity to expose and educate the children in Marathon to so much more than sports. That is why we are choosing to have Animal Adventure, Dan the Snakeman and the Physics Bus come to this region. We are the only resource that Marathon had during the summer to reach children who would otherwise be unreached. Each one of these programs are designed to get the children to have a desire to learn and appreciate the world, science and the love of learning.

Awarded: $800


Tappan-Spaulding Memorial Library – Newark Valley

Project: STEM Learning in the Library

The goal of this project it to promote learning and exploration of science, math, engineering and technology among our youngest patrons. The idea for this project is to create STEM kits, and provide relevant books to elementary aged children. This project will provide an additional opportunity for educational resources outside school for youth in Tioga County. The kits will be an excellent supplementary tool for families that homeschool their children as well. They will encourage, and inspire our youth to continue learning through high-school and beyond. We will reach a wide range of people by sharing the kits with other member libraries within Tioga County. Books added to our collection will be circulated to member libraries in other counties as well. This project will allow us to provide new family friendly activities for our patrons who may be geographically isolated, or have limited financial resources.
Awarded: $800


Edith B. Ford Memorial Library – Ovid

Project: Uploading Knowledge 

Our goal is to provide individuals with disabilities computer knowledge and the sufficient technology to gain that knowledge. We want to enable them to use computers in order to explore new ideas and to gain computer experience and new talents. Computer technology is very central to this generation, and we want to bridge the gap to make it more readily available to all.
Awarded: $2,465


Seneca Falls Library

Project: Traveling Book Club Kits

The main goal of this project is to create a series of traveling book club kits to loan out to local institutions, geographically isolated patrons, and home-bound senior citizens. The secondary goal is to provide delivery and pickup services of main-collection library materials to the same demographic groups. The project will benefit these groups by supplying them with books and other library materials that they are not able to easily access on their own, to foster literacy based social experiences for those who are isolated or lack mobility, and to keep these populations mentally active.
Awarded: $2,000


Tompkins County Public Library – Ithaca

Project: Next Chapter Book Club

The goal of the program is to create an inclusive environment for people with intellectual and development disabilities to participate in a weekly book club at their public library. The Library’s central mission is to be a place for everyone. Offering a program of this type will expand TCPL’s current services and provide meaningful opportunities for lifelong-learning, social connections and inclusion for traditionally underserved individuals. Book clubs are a wonderful means of enhancing socialization skills and helping non- and slow-readers improve comprehension. A friendly, non-judgmental atmosphere will help participants improve their speaking confidence, expand their vocabulary, and build friendships. The Next Chapter Book Club will include cooperative reading, where participants and facilitators read the book together. Activities that are thematically related to the story will help the group further connect with the book and its message. The idea for the book club came from the national nonprofit organization Chapters Ahead, which was established in 2002 to connect people with disabilities to each other and their communities through books and reading. One of its programs is the Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC), which offers an online training module that will prepare TCPL’s staff and facilitators to start and guide the book club using tested methods and best practices.
Awarded: $350


Springport Free Library – Union Springs

Project: Books for the Visually Impaired

We hope to provide a rotating large-type book collection to the Fox Senior Citizen Apartments. The library also maintains an area of shelving and displays, within the library itself, that is specifically for large-type books. Visually impaired readers know right where to go for large-type books. We also partnered with the Aurora Free Library to provide this service to patrons with visual impairments. The Aurora Free Library is geographically close to the Springport Free Library. They will advertise and promote the availability of large-type books at the Springport Free Library. We will use inter-library loan to deliver the large-type books to the Aurora Free Library. Two rural libraries will be able to provide a service to the visually impaired.
Awarded: $1,500


Information about the Outreach Mini Grant

The review team is made up of our 7 member Coordinated Outreach Services Advisory Council (COSAC). The role of COSAC is to advise the Finger Lakes Library System’s Outreach Department, assist in the evaluations of its coordinated outreach activities, and to promote collaborative efforts and partnerships. The Council is comprised of a mix of library directors and representatives from local human service agencies and institutions who serve our targeted outreach populations. We are always looking for new members. Please contact Jenny Shonk at jshonk@flls.org for more information on joining the council.

Funding was made possible for these grants through the New York State Library’s Coordinated Outreach Services Program. Under New York State Education Law, §273 (1) (h) (1), and Commissioner’s Regulations §90.3, Public Library Systems provide Coordinated Outreach Library Services directly and through their member libraries to New Yorkers who are most in need and who often are not regular library users. More information about the program can be found at www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/outreach.


Congratulations to all recipients!

COSAC looks forward to hearing about the success of your projects and reading next year’s applications!


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