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Phillips Library Receives Second Round of Accessibility Funding

Katherine Stohlman Pieters, C'20

Phillips Library

Mount St. Mary’s University’s Phillips Library has been selected as a recipient for a second grant as part of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities program.

Through this initiative, the ALA awards funds to libraries in small and rural towns to assist in making these libraries more accessible to those with disabilities.

Out of the 310 libraries chosen, Phillips Library is one of only 85 to have also received funding in the first round of grants. The new award totals $10,000 and will be used to purchase new furniture for Room 204, which is used as a library instruction and programming space, update signs and other wayfinding tools in the library, and provide training to library staff on how to better assist patrons with disabilities.

“I am honored to receive a second round of funding from the ALA,” said Director of the Library Jessica Boyer, Ph.D., C’16. “Through this grant project, I hope to continue to build on our efforts to make the library a welcome, inclusive and accessible place for all members of the Mount community.”

This second ALA accessibility grant marks the 13th grant that Phillips Library has received since Boyer became director. The various awards, largely earned thanks to her efforts, total more than $77,000 in funds, plus nearly $8,000 more in tuition, travel and book reimbursements.

Other notable grants include an award from the ALA and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support a book club on women’s suffrage, and an NEH award for preserving the Mount’s Rare Books Collection.

Since 2014, ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative has reimagined libraries' role in supporting communities. Libraries of all types have utilized free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; participate 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.

Katherine Stohlman Pieters, C'20