2019-2020 Outreach Mini-Grants Awarded

Thank you to everyone who applied for our 2019-2020 Outreach Mini-Grant cycle! It was especially difficult for our COSAC team this year as there were 17 applicants, the largest number we’ve ever had! While we normally fund $15,000 worth of projects, this year we were able to increase the total to $18,386! We were able to fund the following projects:


Seymour Library – Auburn

Project: Family Engagement at Senior Facilities

The Family Engagement at Senior Facilities program will allow Seymour Library to provide multi-generational programs at two local facilities, a nursing home and a senior housing complex.  The monthly programs will take place at the facilities and will consist of a storytime and an art activity.  The library will also provide a supply of books for a “Family Reading Area” at each facility for residents and families to enjoy at any time.

Awarded: $900


Berkshire Free Library

Project: Family Craft Series

Come spend time learning life long crafts at the Berkshire Free Library. Bring your family or friends be creative. The lessons are free. Enrollment is open to all ages.

Awarded: $1,125


Candor Free Library

Project: Community Fine Arts

Under the guidance of the instructor, students will create fine art pieces with materials that are unusual, high-quality and versatile.  All levels of students are welcome.  Each project will be taught at a grade school level, but all students will be gently encouraged to use their skills to go beyond the initial bounds of the project if they so choose. The classes will be led by an experienced teacher with a Master of Fine Arts.  She states that “as a class leader, I am gentle and encouraging, but ready to jump in and help any student who is unsure or frustrated.”

Awarded: $746.40


Cortland Free Library

Project: Cortland Free Library Adult Outreach Program

The Cortland Free Library Outreach program is a mobile library which services residents in three local assisted living centers. Once a month a staff member gathers books, books on CD, and magazines and travels to a center where residents check out reading materials offered in regular print, large print and audio form.

Awarded: $1,650


Southworth Library Association – Dryden

Project: Senior Art Classes at the Library

Art Classes for Lifelong Learners at the Library: Exploration and instruction in fine arts with Donna Atwood. We will explore a variety of painting techniques in classes designed to encourage beginning and experienced artists to gain new skills and create their own artwork. A final art exhibit of finished works by the participants and other community members will be the culmination of the project

Awarded: $1,250


Groton Public Library

Project: Adult Wellness Series

Each monthly class, in this year long experiential program, will consist of a combination of all of her knowledge, with the focus on wellness, and how to create health, vitality and balance within the human being.

Awarded: $1,215


Tompkins County Public Library – Ithaca

Project: Literacy Inside and Out: Services to Incarcerated and Newly-Released Adults

The Tompkins County Public Library, in keeping with its mission to serve the community, will be starting Literacy Inside and Out: Services to Incarcerated and Newly-Release Adults. Partnering with TST BOCES, the Tompkins County Jail, and the Multicultural Resource Center, the library will help to expand the jail’s book collection, lead multiple literary sessions in the jail, and grow our collection of books and resources pertaining to re-entry assistance. The goal of this program is to increase information resources available to both currently and formerly incarcerated individuals in our community, as well as making the library a more welcoming space for people and families affected by incarceration.

Awarded: $1,450


Peck Memorial Library

Project: A Universe of Stories: Summer Reading 2019

Peck Memorial Library will be hosting a dynamic summer reading program this year to encourage families to read and learn about our world. We will be having Tom Knight: puppeteer, Merry Go Round Theater, SPIF with Zoe Ponterio, Donna Fritz: licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Life Size Space Travel with Lindsay Sprague, Joey Hamilton: space fun, and the Physics Bus. We like to expose the children and young adults to a variety of space filled programs.

Awarded: $990


Powers Library – Moravia

Project: Mobile Hotspots

It is so important to have access to receiving and sending information. Public libraries play a strong role in providing services to its community that gives people the ability to function in society. The internet is the dominant means of communication today and so many are still not able to connect with that virtual world

Awarded: $960


Tappan-Spaulding Memorial Library – Newark Valley

Project: S.T.E.A.M. NIGHT

S.T.E.A.M. NIGHT: an enrichment program offered by the Tappan-Spaulding Memorial Library to engage children grades 1-4 in activities related to Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics. Partnering with Cornell Cooperative Extension Tioga County 4-H enables us to provide well designed educational programs that families enjoy. We will continue to offer a local monthly event that gives our children the opportunity to experiment and explore S.T.E.A.M. subjects in a fun hands-on manner.

Awarded: $1,200


Newfield Public Library

Project: Craft & Skill Workshops for Adults

Join us in getting crafty @ NPL! We will learn exciting new craft skills together during monthly workshops for adults, beginning September 2019 and continuing through May 2020. Come learn a new hobby, passion project or potential side hustle skill as we embark on a new topic each month. In addition, start out the New Year with fresh new supplies by taking part in our craft supply swap in January 2020.

Awarded: $1,000


Cady Library – Nichols

Project: Enjoying Books! A Hands Free Endeavor

“Enjoying Books! A Hands Free Endeavor” is meant to provide access to existing materials on tape, to provide an opportunity to engage with literature for young patrons, and to provide current, interesting titles to our senior and disabled patrons. Our intention with this program is to breathe new life into our dismal audiobook collection. Nothing should limit a patron’s access to materials of their choice.

Awarded: $800


Edith B. Ford Memorial Library – Ovid

Project:Learning Life for Young Adults

Learning Life for Young Adults will create a learning environment outside the pages of a book and immerse participants in various skills required to lead a healthy and happy adult life. This “Show Me How” perspective will encourage learning and library involvement, two things that we see lacking in the young people of our community. We want to make the library for “me”, no matter who that “me” may be. Libraries are not only about books, they are the hearts of communities and the centers of learning.

Awarded: $1,100


Hazard Library – Poplar Ridge

Project: A Ride to Reading Success

Hazard Library, working in conjunction with the Aurora Free Library, the Southern Cayuga School District, and the King Ferry Food Pantry aims to provide opportunities for all youth living in the Southern Cayuga area to improve their literacy skills and gain a lifelong love of reading. Our collaborative efforts provide programs and books throughout the year at multiple locations in the community, with a weekly Pilot Program targeting struggling readers to be offered during the summer months. This program will include a school-based component of tutoring by school district teachers and lunch provided by the King Ferry Food Pantry, along with visits to Hazard Library for programs and the opportunity to borrow books. All participants will be able to get a library card if they don’t already have one.

Awarded: $2,000


Seneca Falls Library

Project: Adult New Readers Initiative

The Adult New Readers Initiative project will entail creating a small collection of adult friendly ESL, literacy and learning materials. The Library will partner with the Literacy Volunteers for one-on-one literacy services for adult learners and second language speakers to provide as many learning opportunities as possible. This program will provide high quality materials, supportive services and a safe comfortable space for students to meet and learn.

Awarded: $2,000


Information about the Outreach Mini Grant

The review team is made up of our 8 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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