This month, the Community Foundation is accepting grant applications from local libraries that plan to run unique and interesting programs later this year. The grants come from the Friends of the Berks County Public Libraries Fund and are meant to help our very creative librarians take on interesting projects and programs that will benefit their local communities. Extra points are awarded if libraries work together on a project or if the program can “travel” to other libraries in the system. Complete details are available here.

One thing’s for sure: It’s an interesting time to be in the library business. I learned a lot about how our libraries work and some of the challenges they face when, a couple of years ago, the Community Foundation and other partners released recommendations aimed at shoring up local libraries financially and programmatically. While those recommendations were ultimately shelved, many of the trends we uncovered continue to play out nationwide. You can learn more about where libraries are and where they might be headed in the latest report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. (link: https://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/01/22/library-services/)

In the meantime, we continue to encourage community members to donate to their local libraries either directly or through the Friends of the Berks County Public Libraries Fund. It makes a difference for our community.