Monthly Archives: February 2012

Let’s talk gardening grants…

Yes, that’s a real thing.  You can write a grant that helps you cover the expenses of a garden at your library!  WOW!  Okay, we’re running out of time…so let’s get crackin’ on those applications…

Here are two coming up soon (found through kidsgardening.org – a fantastic website!)

March 1 – 2012 Mantis Award (to receive a Mantis tiller/cultivator)

April 1 – 2012 Midwest Garden Grant (for those living in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin)

Regional/Local Grants

This is the time when grant applications are about to be due.  I found an astonishing amount of regional and local gardening and food education grants across the country.  Try search terms like your city/region/state name and ‘gardening grants 2012’.

Many local branches of Master Gardeners offer local grants!  Reach out to your local group if you don’t already have a working relationship with them!

Time To Get Your Garden On…

It’s mid-February, and you know what that means.  Almost Spring.  Which means almost gardening time.  And if you’ve been reading my last few posts, you know I’m getting all wound up about libraries as sources of food education.

So, over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to give you a crash course in preparing a food garden and library programs related to it.  Whether you’re an urban library surrounded by concrete or a rural library with abundant agricultural resources, I think you’ll find information that can help you out!

We’ll go over different types of gardens, organizations that can help you out, grants that are available, programs you can run and more!

It’s time to track the outside world…

For a while, I’ve been doing a lot of listening.  I’ve listened in meetings, in appointments, at conferences and on listservs.  I’ve been sitting back and taking things in.  And more recently, I’ve started doing more talking.  Well, more conversing.  Talking with old friends, and meeting new friends and exchanging ideas via email.  It’s been energizing.

There’s one topic I’ve been dwelling on quite a bit and that’s the idea that we need to ask public library staff members to track specific groups and fields that are not necessarily related to our own.  So, instead of re-writing the idea, I’m just going to share a bit of my recent correspondence with a friend…

“One other note is that we have librarians who manage their own internal departments and monitor their own profession, but we need to ask library staff members to do more outward facing research.  I am of the opinion that each staff member in a library should be responsible for monitoring a broad knowledge area that is external of the library but could be incorporated in to library services or impact the library in some way.  So one librarian is responsible for monitoring local business and local food culture.  Maybe a circulation clerk is responsible for staying up to date on regional and national non-profit news.  Another clerk might be in charge of monitoring local health and social services activities.  This serves a two fold purpose.  The first is to find interactive touch points for the library to reach out to local groups and build partnerships of mutual benefit.  The second is to look at trends and issues facing other professions and seeing if their issues could potentially impact the library world and note how those professions addresssed the issue(s).  Libraries operate with a mindset that their problems are distinctly their own, but the problem and the solution are very often visible on the horizon often in a slightly different form.

What do you think?  Am I off base?  On track? Crazy?  I’d love to hear what you think.