Walnut Public Library receives national grant for small and rural libraries

$3,000 grant will help the library build a robust website for community engagement

WALNUT — Walnut Public Library has been selected as one of 200 libraries 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 the library build a professional website that will allow the library to extend their services and programming beyond the library doors.

“I am so thrilled with the progress we are making at the library,” said Library Director Jaclyn Trujillo. “This grant will allow our library to connect with our residents electronically without patrons having to activate a social media account.”

As part of the grant, Walnut Public Library staff will take an online course in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff will then use the grant funds to create the website and then host an online conversation with residents about programming and services offered on the website.

With current public health concerns, it is necessary for an online platform to connect with people in a way that still offers them engagement and service while keeping everyone safe and healthy.

If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, contact Kayla Greenwell directly by calling the library at 815-379-2159 or by email to Director Jaclyn Trujillo at director.wpld@yahoo.com.

More than 300 libraries applied for the grant, according to ALA.

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, 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).