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LSTA Grants: Current/Past Grants

All the information you need to apply for and manage an LSTA grant.

LSTA and IMLS

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds are provided through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. The mission of IMLS is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Their grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. The use of LSTA funds in Connecticut is administered according to the Five-Year Plan (2018-2022) submitted to IMLS in June 2017.

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Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Quick Grant Award Recipients!

As approved by the State Library Board, the CT State Library’s Division of Library Development is pleased to announce the LSTA Quick Grant awards for 2016-17. These six grants total $11,525 in funding:

1. James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, $2,000

Uncover Branford is designed to bring the Branford community together to create personal connections while exploring the hidden gems that make Branford unique. Participants will explore sites around town to take pictures and learn more about Branford, and then will share their stories at an Open House at the library and through a booklet published by the library.

2. Cheshire Public Library, $2,000

The Cheshire Public Library will bring local nonprofit organizations and volunteers together through their Community Connections database and projects. The Community Connections program will match volunteers with opportunities based on skill sets and interests. The library will also facilitate social gatherings among volunteers, who will be encouraged to share stories of their experiences.

3. Milford Public Library, $1,800

Milford Public Library will host quarterly story sharing events with local residents and will share individual stories through posters displayed in the library, online, and on social media. All stories will be gathered in a permanent book published by the library.

4. C.H. Booth Library, Newtown, $1,925

MAKEconnections is an intergenerational, collaborative platform for volunteerism through making. The library will offer six-week sessions during which volunteers will work together to create useful products to be donated to nonprofit organizations. In the initial session, participants will build 12 prosthetic hands using parts printed on the library's 3D printer. Future project ideas will be generated by participants.

5. Ferguson Library, Stamford, $1,800

The Ferguson Library will offer Locked City Escape, an escape room experience in which teams of new adults will work together to solve a series of puzzles using creativity, logic, and collaboration.

6. Wallingford Public Library, $2,000

The Wallingford Public Library will host a community art project in which families collaborate to create postcards celebrating their identities in response to the question: "What makes you special?" Individual postcards will be displayed as part of a large, single mural.

Images from Past Grant Projects

Participants in genealogy class at Beacon Falls PL

Participants in a genealogy class at Beacon Falls Public Library, 2015-2016

Bethel librarian and theater instructors

Amy Schumann and theater instructors, Bethel Public Library, 2015-2016

Participant uses Sketchup software to create a 3D object for printing

3D modeling software used by young adults, James Blackstone Memorial Library, 2015-2016

Teens build new raised garden bed for vegetables

Teens get community service hours while caring for the library's new vegetable garden, Douglas Library of Hebron, 2015-2016

Film instructor leads youths in discussion

Instructor and filmmaker Gorman Bechard leads a discussion of movie making techniques, East Lyme Public Library, 2015-2016

Five people celebrating end of citizenship classes

Instructor Iman Rusti, librarian Yelena Klompus, and three students from Ferguson Library's citizenship classes, 2015-2016

Child practicing writing skills

Young participant in an Every Child Ready to Read workshop practices his writing skills, Public Library of New London, 2015-2016

Participants at the end of memoir writing classes

Instructor, director Suzanne Garvey, and participants in the memoir writing classes, Seymour Public Library, 2015-2016

Grants in Previous Years

For the period 2015-2016, the State Library Board approved eight projects totaling $46,116 in Library Service and Technology Act Grants

1.  Beacon Falls Public Library, $5,241

Beacon Falls Public Library will host two multi-session successful aging programs for older adults to provide information and activities to support better long term mental and physical health. "Tracing Your Family Tree" will provide participants with a lifelong learning activity to keep them mentally active. "Healthy Cooking" sessions will show how to make healthier meals, especially for those with diabetes, to stay physically healthy.

2.  Bethel Public Library, $7,409

In response to input from the community, the Bethel Public Library will present a series of free educational programs for teens ages 11-18. The Library will host a series of writing workshops which will encourage creativity, self-expression, and improve lifelong learning and writing skills. The Library will also have a series of theater workshops which will teach confidence, self-expression, and creativity. Finally, the Library will host a series of technology workshops that will provide a place for teens to learn collaboratively and share their knowledge with others.

3.  Douglas Library of Hebron, $4,941

The Douglas Library of Hebron designed a program to help the area's young adults realize that the Library is there for them to enjoy, be inspired by, and feel comfortable in. The dual focuses of the project are to create a community garden and establish a MakerSpace. Both of these opportunities give teens a new avenue for completing community service in a meaningful and creative way.

4.  East Lyme Public Library, $6,632

Middle school students who participate in the iMovie Makers Project at the East Lyme Public Library will learn the various disciplines of filmmaking which include creative writing, storyboarding, cinematography, editing, and the use of technology. Experienced filmmakers and video artists will lead multiple full-day and half-day workshops using iPads and apps. Participants will learn the art of video storytelling as they use their imaginations and creativity to produce exciting films for their peers.

5.  Ferguson Library, Stamford, $7,500

Through its program "American Citizenship and Beyond," the Ferguson Library will provide resources, programs, and assistance to foreign-born non English speakers in the community who want to become informed citizens. The library will establish a citizenship resource center with citizenship classes, immigration law presentations, materials for study and language learning, and assistance with filling out applications.

6.  James Blackstone Library, Branford, $6,458

LSTA grant funds will expand the capabilities of the Blackstone Library's teen program, Maker Mondays, which allows young adults to get hands-on experience learning 21st century technology. By purchasing equipment to accommodate additional participants, hosting qualified instructors who can offer additional sessions at different dates/times, and providing related materials for circulation to help continue to develop skills learned in each session, the Library can expand the Maker Mondays program to reach more of the target population.

7.  Public Library of New London, $3,000

This project by the Public Library of New London will reach out to parents and guardians of children under the age of 4 to provide them with pre-literacy tools to help ensure that their children will arrive at school ready to read. Every Child Ready to Read programs will be held at multiple community locations and will be provided simultaneously in English and Spanish to ensure inclusivity. Parents will be encouraged to practice what they learned while reading, singing, and reciting rhymes to their children at home.

8.  Seymour Public Library, $4,935

Responding to results from a survey of the local older adult population, the Seymour Public Library will offer free series of classes in Drawing, Memoir Writing, and Tai Chi. These classes will offer lifelong learning opportunities and the chance to learn new skills while encouraging individuality and creativity in a supportive environment. Participants will have the opportunity to meet other residents in the community, become involved, and share their experiences.

For the period 2014-2015, the Connecticut State Library Board approved five projects totaling $21,000 in Library Service and Technology Act Grants.

Every Child Ready to Read grants (ECRR) are small grants of up $3,000 that assist libraries in performing activities designed to encourage and support effective children's services. Funding will enable libraries to secure training and materials designated as 'best practice' by the American Library Association's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC).

Bristol Public Library, Bristol, $3,000
Abstract: Building on strong associations with partners School Readiness Council, Family Resource Centers, and Parent and Child Center, the library will present literacy workshops throughout the Bristol community. The new "Literacy Collection," including books, puzzles, toys, and music that promote the core skills and practices of ECRR, will circulate from the library and at 4 community sites.

East Hartford Public Library, East Hartford, $3,000
Abstract: Statistics show that the literacy skills of East Hartford children entering kindergarten are getting worse from year to year. With assistance from community partners East Hartford ChildPlan, East Hartford WIC, and Family Resource Centers, the library will present several parent/child and partner classes designed to give participating children an opportunity to begin kindergarten with a strong literacy background, making their transition to school easier and allowing them to learn and progress at a normal rate.

Programs for Older Adults are directed grants that provide up to $5,000 to libraries to provide or enhance services and collections to older adults. Projects bring library programs, materials, and/or services to older adults who have difficulty accessing traditional library services or extend lifelong learning programs to older adults. Collection development projects without a strong program piece are not considered for these program grants.

Darien Library, Darien, $5,000
Abstract: The library will expand its "Senior Moments" program, a monthly coffee and conversation series, to offer more diverse presentation topics and attract local seniors who don't usually attend library programs.

Ferguson Library, Stamford, $5,000
Abstract: To provide more diversified programming for older adults in Stamford, the library will present a monthly lecture series on the humanities and a ten-session writing workshop to culminate in a family history book written by each participant.

Hall Memorial Library, Ellington, $5,000
Abstract: The library will partner with the Ellington Historical Society and Ellington Senior Center to implement a town-wide Oral History Project, including professional training on interviewing techniques, the purchase of digital recording equipment, completion of 15-20 oral histories, professional transcription of the interviews, and preservation and scanning of related documents and photos.

For the period 2013-2014, the Connecticut State Library Board approved fifteen projects totaling $59,567 in Library Service and Technology Act Grants.

Every Child Ready to Read grants (ECRR) are small grants of up $ 3,000 that assist libraries in performing activities designed to encourage and support effective children's services. Funding will enable libraries to secure training and materials designated as 'best practice' by the American Library Association's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC).

Berlin-Peck Memorial Library, Berlin, $3,000
Abstract: The Berlin-Peck Memorial Library will take this opportunity to reach out to parents, nursery schools, and child care centers in a new way with a nationally tested program. Parents will learn about the value and importance of early literacy skills for their children, and funding will enable the library to add vital new materials and equipment that is key to helping parents learn and practice preliteracy skills with their young children.

Bridgeport Public Library, Bridgeport, $3,000
Abstract: Three schools located in Bridgeport's East Side Promise Neighborhood (BESPN) are 'the poorest neighborhood in the poorest city in the state.' Nearly 63% of children entering Kindergarten there score as 'unready to read' - and thus unready for school work. ECRR workshops for families in area preschool classrooms will help change these statistics. Funding will enable updates to 28 of the library's early literacy 'Play and Learn Kits' to reflect ECRR practices. This includes adding new music CDs, hands-on props, tools to encourage drawing and writing, finger plays and talking ideas, and many Spanish titles.

Durham Public Library, Durham, $3,000
Abstract: In partnership with the Regional District 13 Early Childhood Council and four local childcare providers, the library will provide needed pre-literacy skill training for parents, preschool workers, and other caregivers identified as needing support. Funding will provide for circulating kits that support the five pre-reading practices, and activities will help prepare young children within the district for successful entry into school. 

Otis Library, Norwich, $3,000
Abstract: ECRR will empower parents across Norwich by demonstrating best practice, hands-on ways to support language and literacy development in their children. Partnering with Madonna Place preschool, the project will reach families that do not typically come into the library. Funding will enable enhanced, multilingual signage explaining ECRR as well as interactive tools (e.g., dollhouses, puppets, musical instruments) that encourage the five practices, and the program will work particularly well with Otis' recent, grant-funded AWE Early Literacy Station. A diverse, multilingual, and economically needy community, Norwich is ideal for ECRR family workshops.

Torrington Library, Torrington, $3,000
Abstract: Like all youngsters, the preschool children of Torrington need enriching activities to develop early literacy skills. Though ideally these are conveyed by their parents and guardians - their first and most influential teachers - many local families struggle with this and other issues, as evidenced by the city's low Kindergarten inventory scores and related low numeracy and literacy skills scores. To assist Torrington families in helping prepare children to be ready to learn when they enter school, the library will partner with the Torrington Preschool Center to provide ECRR workshops to parents in the community.

Programs for Older Adults are directed grants that provide up to $ 5,000 to libraries to provide or enhance services and collections to older adults. Projects bring library programs, materials, and/or services to older adults who have difficulty accessing traditional library services or extend lifelong learning programs to older adults. Collection development projects without a strong program piece are not considered for these program grants.

Berlin-Peck Memorial Library, Berlin, $3,142
Abstract: This project pilots the instruction and use of iPads in the older adult community, both in the library and off-site, to promote lifelong learning among residents age 50+. In partnership with RSVP of Central CT and the Berlin Senior Center, the library will conduct two 7-week series of iPad classes on topics that include iPad Basics, Setting up Email, Surfing the Internet, Standard Apps on Your iPad, Downloading New Apps Step by Step, Photos & Videos, and Music.

Bethel Public Library, Bethel, $4,466
Abstract: Bethel Public Library will present a series of memoir writing workshops that encourage creativity and improve lifelong learning and writing skills. The workshops will be supplemented by Connecticut authors who will present on the craft of writing, their books, and their careers. The library also plans to offer dramatic musical performances featuring performers ranging from music concerts to impersonations of different historical figures. In partnership with the Bethel Senior Center, the project will court new patrons from the town's two senior living facilities and one assisted living facility.

Prosser Library, Bloomfield, $ 3,000
Abstract: The Prosser Library will host a series of educational musical programs appealing to retirees, active older adults, and those participating in Bloomfield's widespread purposeful aging movement which encourages aging in one's own home. Partnering with the Marilyn Michaelson Senior Center will enable transportation for those who require it, and collaborating with the town's Commission on Aging will help attract new patrons to the library. Collections including large print books on music and musician biographies, music CDs and educational CDs about the history of music will support programs.

Canterbury Public Library, Canterbury, $5,000
Abstract: Canterbury Public Library's Forever Young initiative will reach out to the underserved senior population with programs and activities in which patrons have indicated they would like to participate. Programs will be held at the library and also at the Knoll Brook Village Senior Housing Complex. The project will illustrate that seniors can take an active role in helping their brains continue to grow instead of passively accepting outdated ideas of the aging brain. Programs include exercise time, guided nature walks, gardening, polyform sculpture, film series, one-on-one computer time, health and well-being workshops, and reading to preschoolers.

Hall Memorial Library, Ellington, $5,000
Abstract: This project will build upon and strengthen the successes of 2012-2013's LSTA-funded Hall Happenings 55+ program which has attracted active library patrons, lapsed users, and new patrons alike. Funding will enable six local history talks, six health & wellness / healthy cooking demonstrations, four hands-on workshops (drawing, wreath-making, quilting, and jewelry-making) and twenty films. Funding also provides for an LCD projector to ensure a flawless experience for attendees at every presentation.

Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, $5,000
Abstract: Skype-a-Docent entails virtual presentations by museums and art galleries to congregate housing facilities and at the library to mobile seniors. Each month a different museum will present three or four tours of artwork and collections - complete with Q&A provided by museum docents. One of the monthly presentations will be at the library for the more mobile senior population, and the others will be for residents of three congregate housing facilities. Nine different museums will present a total of up to 36 programs. The project replicates best practices found in Queens Library's award-winning (New York Times' 'I Love My Librarian') Book Club for the Homebound.

Stratford Library Association, Stratford, $5,000
Abstract: This funding will enable the library to build upon strides made with the Stratford Lifelong Learners, a group that the library co-sponsors with Stratford Senior Services, to present a series of educational programs that invite discussion and extend lifelong learning to a rapidly growing cadre of recently retired adults. A series of focus groups helped inform the programmatic content, which will be a ten-month series of focused, in-depth programs on financial, informational, recreational, and wellness topics.

Rockville Public Library, Vernon, $4,289
Abstract: Older adults will learn skills that increase their self-sufficiency and technological literacy through classes and remote assistance; classes will include basic-, intermediate-, and advanced-level computer programs. Topics are slated to be: desktop publishing, email, photo editing, and financial management. The library will also provide instruction and assistance for those using eReaders / tablets / smartphones to access library services. The project will help seniors connect with family members and social supports and also build skills with adaptive equipment and web tools.

University of Connecticut, Waterbury campus, Waterbury, $4,670
Abstract: iPads for OLLIS is a collaborative effort of the University of Connecticut Libraries and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UConn (OLLI) offering equipment and programming support for active older adult learners. The project will increase the knowledge levels of patrons through purchase of - and extensive instruction on - iPads and related social media and apps. Training tutorials will be uploaded to the UConn YouTube channel; this and the related course content will provide a template for future iPad group instruction.

West Hartford Public Library, West Hartford, $5,000
Abstract: Because traditional 'senior' library services do not match the current interests or characteristics of West Hartford adults aged 50+, the L.A.F.F. Center (Life After Fifty-Five) will position the library as the area's cornerstone for productive aging. The L.A.F.F. Center will offer ongoing programs at all three library locations on midlife trends including health, lifelong learning, financial security, volunteering/connecting with the community, and re-careering. Materials that support these programs will be added to the library collection, and a permanent presence for the L.A.F.F. Center will be incorporated into the library website.

For the period 2012-2013, the Connecticut State Library Board approved seventeen projects totaling $158,542 in Library Service and Technology Act Grants.

Every Child Ready to Read

Prosser Library, Bloomfield, $3,000
Abstract: Achievement gap between Bloomfield students and their peers in higher-performing school districts begin before children enter kindergarten. This effort will present four parent/child workshops targeting parents with young children and will be held in partnership with the Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School, First Congregational Church Nursery School, and the Bloomfield Family Resource Center. Grant funds will support storytimes, outreach efforts, enhanced professional collections, circulating parent/teacher collections (early literacy and language acquisition), board books, and storytelling/early literacy kits.

Henry Carter Hull Library, Clinton, $3,000
Abstract: Despite Clinton's best collaborative efforts statistics show that there are children who come to school not prepared to succeed. The library will use grant funds to support the purchase of 200 picture books, best practices pamphlets, displays, circulating materials (books, activity sheets, lesson plans) to partners, day care centers, and family home day cares including Best Beginnings Preschool Initiative and the CRT Head Start. A child development class from the local high school The Morgan School will be trained in ECRR techniques as students offer free preschool programs two afternoons a week.

Cragin Memorial Library, Colchester, $3,000
Abstract: Recent efforts have begun to renew the perception of the Cragin Memorial Library as a place to bring young children, and this grant opportunity presents a strong prospect for making the connection between library preschool programming efforts and school readiness. The library will work with the C3-The Collaborative for Colchester's Children and Generations Family Health Center in delivering programs with this opportunity.

Darien Library, $3,000
Abstract: With the largest proportion of children under age 18 in the state, Darien is targeting caregivers (nannies, au pairs, and babysitters) who lack background in child education. The grant will create early literacy kits and will hone in on training caregivers to read aloud, sing rhymes, and engage with children as building blocks of the community's Early Literacy Initiative in partnership with the YWCA and Family Centers and the Early Learning preschool program.

Jonathan Trumbull Library, Ledyard, $3,000
Abstract: A large number of Lebanon's Kindergarten students lack the necessary early literacy skills needed to become proficient readers, requiring additional time for classroom instruction. Workshops will be held in conjunction with Lebanon Elementary School's preschool screenings in order to meet, engage and support parents, grandparents, and caregivers who do not currently visit the library with their children. Workshops will also be held at local nursery schools and daycare providers in partnership with the Lebanon Early Childhood Council. By providing parents and caregivers the tools they need to share basic early literacy skills with children, this initiative will reinforce the impact the library has on the education of children.

Meriden Public Library, $3,000
Abstract: Meriden Public Library is located in the heart of a neighborhood where 41.9% of the families are below the federal poverty level; most area adults have not finished high school, have never read to their children, and do not go to the library which is within walking distance of their homes. Collaborating in the city's 'Meriden Family Zone' initiative, the library will use demonstrations and hands on activities to give parents, grandparents, and caregivers a model for developing pre-literacy skills in children via home visits and in the programs of sister agencies Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven, Family Resource Centers, Nurturing Families, and Meriden Headstart.

Southington Public Library, $3,000
Abstract: In collaboration with the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington (ECC), the library will assist parents in enhancing Kindergarteners' language, literacy, and numeracy skills. Classes will use iPads and educational applications chosen for their ability to help parents demonstrate to their children ECRR2 principles. This 21st century approach will help parents teach literacy skills to children lagging in language skills through rich visualizations and sound and music. Electronic collections will be built around those that highlight text when reading, offer sound and music in addition to the spoken text and contain interactive educational opportunities.

Ferguson Library, Stamford, $3,000
Abstract: The Ferguson Library serves an ethnically diverse community of 120,000; nearly 38% are foreign-born and 44% speak a language other than English at home. Parents lacking language fluency often can't provide the language-rich environment their children need for literacy and school success. Funds will aid in purchasing professional books, children's books, board books, multisensory materials, and early literacy learning tools for play and program use and bilingual brochures and booklists that recommend books supporting ECRR2's five practices. In addition to four parent/child workshops and two workshops for partner agencies, the library will produce five short, bilingual videos for the library's website. Project partners include the 40-agency-strong School Readiness Council and Head Start.

Stafford Public Library, $3,000
Abstract: The library and partnering agencies Head Start, Family Resource Center and two day care providers believe that positive parental involvement and empowerment could be the key to improving reading scores in the less affluent community of Stafford, where 33% of third graders are still not reading at or above goal level. Four evenings of informal workshops with simple games parents can play with their children will demonstrate to families that reading is a fun family activity; this program promotes literacy as a life skill not a school skill. Literacy Bags with books, activity sheets, puzzles, finger puppets, story sequence cards will help parents teach early literacy activities, model reading behaviors.

Tolland Public Library, $3,000
Abstract: A full 15% of Tolland 's population is comprised of children ages 0 to 4- nearly 1,000 preschoolers; there are 31 child care programs serving them. In order to curb a trend that has 39% of third graders failing to meet the CMT goal level, this grant will provide collections that invite participation including books with rhyming and poetry, books that can be sung, and books with movement, props, and puppets. Workshops will focus on library staff, day care centers, home day providers, and parents at the library and the Family Resource Center. Partners include the Tolland Family Resource Center and three large daycare centers.

Wethersfield Public Library, $3,000
Abstract: Workshops for expectant parents, parents, caregivers, and preschool providers will focus on language and literacy. Using ECRR2 materials and grant-funded kits for parents and early childhood educators/caregivers, interactive workshops will teach five easy ways to ensure young children start school with the skills needed to learn to read and write. Library staff will discuss practices, model behaviors and book sharing strategies that help lay the foundation for their child's future reading success and lifelong learning. Community partners include the English Language Learner coordinator for the elementary schools, preschool and childcare facilities, and area hospitals who will distribute project information to expectant parents in their prenatal and birthing classes.

Willimantic Public Library, $3,000
Abstract: 27.5% of Willimantic children under the age of five live below the poverty level; data shows that one third of all children in Windham enter kindergarten lacking reading readiness skills. Early intervention through bilingual ECRR workshops will help parents support and strengthen their child's reading readiness skills. Workshops will be held at each partner site: the Windham Public Preschool, the North Windham Family Resource Center, the Natchaug Family Resource Center, and the Windham High School Young Parents Program.

Programs for Multilingual Populations

Hartford Public Library, $35,000
Abstract: Increasing Voter Engagement in Hartford's Latino Community will focus on voter registration, voter information, and voter education, activities shown to produce the best results. Stemming from its leadership role in the 14-agency-strong Hartford Votes~Hartford Vota Coalition, the project conduct a series of facilitated planning meetings with leaders and others from Hartford's Latino community to produce bilingual, non-partisan events. Voter engagement is vital for a thriving democracy. It also spurs greater civic participation and builds social capital.

Programs for Older Adults

Hall Memorial Library, Ellington, $27,154
Abstract: Hall Happenings 55+ will focus on the kinds of programming that Ellington's working adults, retirees, and senior citizens have requested, bringing in speakers on subjects of interest including financial and legal issues; health and wellness; travel; volunteerism; and emergency preparedness. Book discussions, author visits, and lifelong learning activities like foreign languages, genealogy, and gardening will be offered. Additionally, training in new technologies and social networking will be provided and local entertainment options encompassing both film and music programs will be offered. Programs will be supplemented with materials in the library's collection including databases, DVDs, and ebooks.

Otis Library, Norwich, $17,074
Abstract: In cooperation with the Rose City Senior Center, the Otis Library will offer the Connecting Community project featuring bus transportation, enrichment programming, and library materials in an effort to raise the quality of life of older adults in Norwich. Aspects of the project include increased homebound delivery, offsite book discussions, and a memoir writing workshop. By addressing the barriers of transportation, low and impaired vision, and lack of mobility, the library is extending lifelong learning programs and growth opportunities to those who lack access to the library.

Services for People with Disabilities

New Canaan Library, $17,214
Abstract: Get in the Loop! proposes the purchase and installation of permanent hearing loop technology in two programming spaces: the Adrian Lamb Room and the Children's Programming Room. Funding will also enable purchase of portable hearing loop devices in order to provide for improved sensory experience by the target group in other areas of the library and at home. Patrons with hearing impairment will more fully experience the library's diverse programming. Sensitivity and technical training for staff, patrons, and their families is included in the grant. lives.

Booth & Dimock Memorial Library, Coventry, $11,013
Abstract: All Aboard! A Library for Children of All Abilities will use universal design principles to address gaps in what children with disabilities and their families need and what the library currently provides. A collection development piece will add materials and resources in a variety of formats that address the needs of children with disabilities and their families, while inclusive programming will welcome children of all abilities and their families, caregivers, advocates and educators and provide a connecting link between families and other community agencies. The project will add inclusive technology and software that is useful and accessible to children of all abilities, and funding will also enable training to help staff to better understand and serve children with disabilities and their families. The collaboration of parents, community organizations and other professionals will create a secure base to supports children and families and promote a sense of belonging.

For the period 2011-2012, the Connecticut State Library Board approved eight projects totaling $78,311 in Library Service and Technology Act Grants.

Collaborations to Support Literacy for Children and Young Adults

Hartford Public Library, $24,995
Abstract: The library and the Connecticut Science Center's Picture Book Science, Picture Book Math project is an effort to support the early literacy, scientific inquiry, and numeracy skills of Hartford children ages three to six. Activities instruct parents and caregivers on building children's skill sets and also instruct families on practicing these activities in their homes. The basis for the program is the State Department of Education's Core Science Curriculum Framework: Content Standards and Expected Performances, Core Science for Grades PreK-2; the Connecticut Mathematics Curriculum Framework (Pre K-Grade 1 Content Standards); and the Public Library Association's early literacy initiative, Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR). The materials used to teach these curricula will be the research-tested Mother Goose book selections, manipulatives, and activity guides, from the Vermont Center for the Book. This grant complements related ongoing, supporting activities funded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Hartford City Council; funding will provide for Mother Goose training, materials, field trips, and a professional evaluation of the program's workshops.

Thompson Public Library, $5,000
Abstract: The Thompson Public Library's Community Bookbag will place backpacks with quality children's literature and parenting resources in eight locations in Thompson including day cares, schools, and a pediatric center. Many local families lack the financial means to purchase these materials and also lack awareness of their importance to the development of their children's educational success. The project provides literacy outreach to local families at three distinct stages of reading development (babies/toddlers, preschool, school age), and incorporate the best practices of the Public Library Association's It's Never Too Early to Read initiative.

Services to Older Adults

Hartford Public Library, $16,048
Abstract: Arts and Archives: Master Classes in the Arts and Humanities for Older Adults provides fine arts and humanities workshops and heritage-based seminars. Seven planned modules will provide hands-on instruction in pen and ink drawing, visual arts, poetry writing, photography, appreciation of blues and jazz, sculpture, and memoir writing. Each module includes an artist- or scholar-led heritage-based seminar incorporating artifacts, images, and personal narratives from the collections of the Hartford History Center. Older adults will enjoy opportunities to discover (or re-discover) and express their creativity and develop artistic and critical thinking skills.

Services to People with Disabilities

Traurig Library, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Waterbury, $10,748
Abstract: Naugatuck Valley Community College's growing population of students and community patrons with visual and learning disabilities need full access to library services in order to improve their academic and information literacy skills. Project Virtual Vision will supplement and update antiquated equipment with current software and adaptive technology to create a well-equipped, well-supported study space. Extensive training will afford patrons enhanced, one-on-one consultations with reference staff. The library will also spearhead the formation of a campus-wide advisory board to address accessibility issues and help ensure that users are aware of the equipment and the project.

West Hartford Public Library, $17,020
Abstract: FAIR @ Your Library will enable persons with disabling conditions fuller, easier, and more independent access to library resources. People with visual, hearing, and mobility impairments face special challenges when trying to access the library's collections, services, and programs. The library will acquire assistive technology products and software, promote the use of these specialized products through focused publicity and collaboration with community agencies, expand staff awareness and sensitivity to a more diverse group of library users, and train staff and library users in the use of these new resources.

Community Needs Assessment

Each library received $1,500 to conduct community needs assessments:
Hartford Public Library (young adults)
South Windsor Public Library (non-English speaking community)
Ferguson Library, Stamford (Older adults)

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