I was in a brief meeting with some fellow librarians yesterday and they had never heard of the ALA office of Public Programs. Honestly people, just pay attention a little and you can get a ton of free things. And it’s high quality, amazing stuff. For all of the whining our fellow professionals do about lack of tax money, no funding, minimal community support…there is SO SO SO MUCH stuff out there for us to apply for. Yeah, it takes a bit of paperwork, but you can really accomplish a lot with the things provided. You will have better odds of getting stuff if you:
- Show that you discussed the grant or gifts potential uses with your staff
- Demonstrate that you are willing to work with area organizations in innovative ways – think of groups that might not necessarily reach out to the library – how about a collaborative outreach effort with the local hot rod club, VFW hall, or a local college or university?
- Can measure the outcomes – how many people, fliers, events, clicks on a webpage – you name it. Be able to count SOMETHING to prove access.
- Show how excited you are and how you will use your energy to make the most of what you might receive.
- Be genuine. If you are only applying for the sake of applying, that will not do. If you are not driven to apply and try for it, then don’t do it. There are other libraries that would love that little prize and will do great things with it because their interest is sincere.