The Montrose Regional Library District is one of 44 libraries to receive an American Dream Starts @ your library grant, an initiative of Dollar General Literacy Foundation and the American Library Association. The purpose of the grant is to help public libraries in Dollar General communities add or expand literacy services for adult English language learners.
The District received $9,295 to improve library service for Spanish-speaking patrons. Project activities focus on enhancing the District’s Spanish language collection and programming, increasing awareness of library services, and implementing activities to provide computer, English, and literacy skills. The grant builds on a project begun in 2012 when the District received a $15,000 from the Library Services and Technology Act.
“Libraries are purveyors of the American Dream,” said Library District Director Paul Paladino. “We are excited to provide Spanish speakers with the tools that they need to enjoy success in this great nation.”
The grant will fund eighteen basic and advanced Spanish language computer classes. Participants will be able to practice their skills at a newly installed Spanish family computer station in the Children’s Room of the Montrose Regional Library, and at a soon-to-be installed Spanish public Internet station.
Circulation of Spanish language materials has increased 89% in the past five years, and the District hopes to double this number in the coming year on the bookmobile and at the Montrose Regional Library. Both outlets will add $7,000 in new titles for new English learners, as well as new Spanish language titles. The District will continue its English Learners’ Book Club, which meets monthly at the Library, and bimonthly book reviews in La Voz del Pueblo.
The District also hopes to issue 200 new library cards to Spanish speakers by October. As one way to bring people to the Library, the District will organize El Día de la Hispanidad in September at the Library, with dancers, food, and cultural activities. Library staff will continue their Spanish language lessons to improve their ability to communicate with English learning patrons.
In 2010, the District began recruiting “conversation partners” for the Montrose County School District’s Adult Basic Education participants. These partners meet weekly with English learners to help improve their language skills. This grant will help the District continue to recruit new conversation partners.
For information about any of these programs, you can call 249-9656, and press “2” to speak to a Spanish-speaking librarian.
To see the list of the 2013 grant recipients, please visit www.americandreamtoolkit.org.
About the Montrose Regional Library District
The Montrose Regional Library District formed in 1967 and serves 40,500 people in Montrose County’s 2,400 square miles through branches in Montrose, Naturita, and Paradox, and through a bookmobile. The District’s mission is to foster community by providing resources, encouraging reading, and supporting lifelong learning.
About the ALA
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with 58,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.
About Dollar General and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation
Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for more than 70 years. With more than 10,000 stores in 40 states, Dollar General has more retail locations than any retailer in America and the company has a longstanding tradition of supporting literacy and education. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $74 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 4.4 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. Learn more about Dollar General at www.dollargeneral.com.