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Three libraries awarded ALA’s inaugural Peggy Barber Tribute Grant

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) has awarded its inaugural Peggy Barber Tribute Grant, a programming grant named after the transformative ALA leader, to Harrison (N.Y.) Public Library, Montana Department of Corrections’ Library and West Liberty (Iowa) Library.

The $2,500 grant is open to public, academic, K-12, tribal and special libraries and helps to support meaningful programs with limited programming budgets. The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant will support a different type of library programming each year. This year, libraries submitted applications in support of humanities-based programming.

The funded projects include:

  • The Montana Department of Corrections’ Montana State Prison High-Security Library serves approximately 400 high-security inmates. The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant will help to support a humanities-based program with the theme of Montana Indigenous People: Traditions, Culture, and History. Each month, a new module will be presented with worksheets, book clubs, activities and crafts.
  • Harrison Public Library in New York will extend their existing humanities program, Doing the Work: Discussion Series, based on the book “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F. Saad. The library will add 24 sessions to meet overwhelming community interest. Each session is 90-minutes long with required reading and reflection as a pathway to lead participants through a journey of understanding white privilege.
  • The West Liberty Library in Iowa will use grant funds to launch a makerspace programming series including six months of adult activity kits and in-person programming. Staff-led programming will alternate monthly and will feature guest speakers such as local historians and artists.

“We were astonished by the incredible library programs that were proposed for this inaugural award,” said Shaundra Walker, Peggy Barber Tribute Award Committee Chair and Library Director at Georgia College. “The three chosen libraries are prime examples of humanities programming that will have a lasting and meaningful impact on participants. I look forward to seeing these libraries succeed in their programming endeavors.”

The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant was created with donations from Barber’s friends and colleagues. To support the grant, make a contribution to the Peggy Barber tribute fund within ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund.

To stay informed about future grants and awards offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office, sign up for the Programming Librarian e-newsletter.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

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