2020-2021 Outreach Mini-Grants Awarded

Thank you to everyone who applied for our 2020-2021 Outreach Mini-Grant cycle! It was especially difficult for our COSAC team this year as there were 14 applicants with very limited available grant funds. We were able to fund the following projects:


Seymour Library – Auburn

Project: Caregiver Kits

Seymour Library will develop 10 Caregiver Kits for those who provide care to individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. The kits will include memory-stimulating materials and activities to engage the mind and body of those suffering from memory loss. Kits will be available to any Finger Lakes Library System member library cardholder.

Awarded: $1,066


Candor Free Library

Project: Art Splash

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.” The Take Home and Share project is a kit created for the Museum of Modern Art to explore the art of Jackson Pollock.

Awarded: $343.18


Southworth Library Association – Dryden

Project: Mobile Hotspots

The Mobile Hotspot Lending program would enable patrons not currently connected, to access the internet through a Verizon Mobile network. Library patrons would be able to check out the devices for a short period to use in their homes and access the internet for critical resources and information, social connection, email and other needs. It includes a monthly unlimited data plan and the ability to deactivate devices as needed.

Awarded: $1,472


Groton Public Library

Project: GPL Shut-ins Assistance Program

The GPL Shut-ins Assistance Program is a way to provide Library materials to those in our community who do not have readily available access to the Library. It will be for people who are homebound whether permanently or temporarily. We will provide them with forms to select favorite authors and genres and give them the option to place holds themselves either online or by phone. Materials will be delivered to them by local church members who have partnered with us in this program.

Awarded: $600


Lodi Whittier Library

Project: Establishing a Dyslexia Hub at Lodi Whittier Library

The Lodi Whittier Library will develop and become a “Dyslexia Hub” to help all struggling readers in our community with expanded collections of audiobooks, graphic novels, hi/lo (high interest, low lexile) readers, and phonics books. We will offer support materials for parents and caregivers in the form of books, DVDs, and brochures about community/local/state and national resources. These crucial resources will be free and available to all.

Awarded: $1,175.12


Peck Memorial Library – Marathon

Project: Virtual Programming 2020

Peck Memorial Library desires to serve the Marathon community this summer with a three part plan to make sure all have access to books and programs. Part One is providing new large print books and books on CD for the visually impaired/seniors in our community. Part Two is having available 3 virtual videos available for families to watch in their own free time and have them be available until September 1st. Part three is to provide craft/game bags during the 6 weeks of the summer reading program so that families will have the supplies need for the summer story time crafts on Tuesday mornings.

Awarded: $1,025


Newfield Public Library

Project: Connecting Newfield – Mobile Hotspot Lending

A significant digital divide exists in Newfield, NY, a rural community in upstate. COVID-19 and NY PAUSE has shined a light on how great the need is and how critical access is for information and recreational purposes. The Newfield Public Library has made mobile hotspots available for community members to experience internet access in their home. The library is also bringing Wi-fi to densely populated areas on a scheduled basis to help Newfield residents stay connected. This is another example to demonstrate that libraries care about their community and support digital literacy for all.

Awarded: $1,280


Edith B. Ford Memorial Library – Ovid

Project: Summer Odyssey

Readers of all ages take part in a Reading Odyssey in Ovid and Romulus. To fill the sails of their ship and reach their journey’s end, they must overcome obstacles by completing activities and earning digital badges. Readers who accomplish their reading goal will receive a prize. Participants can register on the BookPoints website to track their progress, or receive activity kits and free books to work offline. The Reading Odyssey reaches rural and isolated families by placing reading and educational resources where they are accessible.

Awarded: $1,680


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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