Submitted by Bethany Klem, Head of Children’s Services
The Bedford Free Public Library was recently awarded a federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant for $9,947 from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). “This year’s grants illustrate the vibrant and dynamic ways that libraries connect with their communities,” said Robert Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development at the MBLC. “The grants help libraries expand service offerings, impact lives and demonstrate why libraries continue to be a vital part of the civic landscape. We are proud of the work that is done by Massachusetts libraries through the LSTA grant program.”
The Bedford Free Public Library plans to build a drop-in playroom in the children’s room. With play themes ranging from construction to food, and from whole-body play to science, the room will have costumes, toys, building materials, and more to spark young children’s imaginations. The library will also offer a series of events that tie into each of the playroom themes, inviting families to translate playful ideas into fun experiences to enjoy together.
The playroom will open later in December 2018 with events and activities continuing throughout the school year and into the summer. The library’s website (www.bedfordlibrary.net) is the best place to find event details and playroom news during the upcoming year.
The MBLC developed this direct grant program using federal funding to help libraries meet local community needs including projects that help job seekers with career development and job information, programs that help New Americans learn English and become citizens, STEM and STEAM projects, programs that serve teen needs, and projects that preserve valuable historical documents. The MBLC also offers grants to increase access to library services for people with disabilities.
In addition to the direct library grant program, the MBLC uses LSTA funds to support statewide programs and services including summer reading programs, research databases, the statewide eBook program, the Commonwealth Catalog, and mass.gov/libraries which has information and resources for residents. LSTA is administered on the federal level by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in the Commonwealth by the MBLC. More information about LSTA can be found on the Board’s website at www.mass.gov/mblc.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.