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MPL Selected for Competitive Federal Humanities Grant

$10,000 grant will help the Library recover from the Coronavirus pandemic

The Middlebury Public Library has been selected as one of 200 libraries nationwide for the American Library Association’s American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries opportunity.

With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the library will use funds to anchor itself in the community as a strong humanities institution. The competitive award comes with a $10,000 grant that will help the library deliver excellent programs and services related to culture, history, literature, and other humanities subjects.

The Middlebury Public Library will use the grant to fund part of this year’s Middlebury Literary Carousel in partnership with Middlebury Then & Now. Scheduled June 13 through June 18, the event will feature authors, presenters, and performers.  Program highlights include children’s musical performer, Jim Gill; a documentary film screening that chronicles a local family’s heroic actions to provide a vital passage for Jews escaping the Holocaust; and a comic making workshop for teens.

More than 370 libraries applied for the grant, according to ALA. The participating libraries, selected through a competitive, peer-reviewed application process, include public libraries, academic/college libraries, K-12 libraries, and tribal, special, and prison libraries. The recipients represent 45 states and Puerto Rico and serve communities ranging in size from 642 residents in Weir, Kansas, to the city of Los Angeles. Libraries were chosen with an emphasis on reaching historically underserved and/or rural communities.

“Libraries have faced significant hardships throughout the pandemic —from budget cuts to staff furloughs to building closures — especially in our communities of the greatest need,” said ALA President Patty Wong. “This crucial support from NEH will enable our beloved institutions, and the dedicated people who run them, to rebuild and emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.”

American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.