Walnut Public Library receives National Grant

May 15, 2023 | 0 comments

Walnut Public Library District has been selected as one of 240 libraries to participate in
Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that provides community engagement and accessibility resources to small and rural libraries to help them better serve people with disabilities.

The competitive award comes with a $20,000 grant that will help the library provide additional services to neurodiverse individuals. The library plans on installing sensory panels in the hallway leading into the Children’s library to integrate movement and provide additional sensory input for individuals. Sensory boxes will also be added to circulation and available for collaborative use outside the library.

Furthermore, the library is planning a collaborative special needs workshop and resource fair for special needs parents, caregivers, and educators. More details will be announced soon regarding the workshop and resource fair.

“This grant opportunity personally means a lot to me” said Library Director Jaclyn Trujillo. “This grant will allow our library to get to know our residents with disabilities better. It will help us improve our services to ensure this population feels welcome and comfortable in our space. It will also allow our library to focus on community engagement, reaching individuals in and beyond our service area with a community workshop and resource fair.

As part of the grant, the Walnut Public Library Director will take an online course in how to lead
conversations, a skill vital to library work today. The library will then host a special needs workshop and resource fair with residents and other area communities about opportunities and resources available to individuals. Organizations throughout the state will be presenting on hot and relevant topics at this workshop in addition to a 90 minute bonus session on IEP Advocacy.

This session will include IEP Goal Writing for the Real World, Building Effective Inclusion Plans, Negotiating Meaningful and Appropriate IEP’s through Collaboration, What to Ask For and How to Get It, Without Conflict, and 12 Hard IEP Questions You need to Ask Before Your Next IEP Meeting.
If you and/or your organization are interested in getting involved or taking part in the special needs workshop and resource fair please contact Jaclyn at director.wpld@yahoo.com, 815-379-2159, or visit www.walnutpubliclibrary.org for more information.

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 and 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: Accessible Small and Rural Communities is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).”

The full press release can be read here.

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