Kellogg, Osburn libraries receive grant funding

by CHANSE WATSON
Managing Editor | October 5, 2020 5:49 PM

Funding is vital for any public or private entity to grow. Community libraries are certainly no exception, especially when trying to expand and maintain services.

Recently, the Kellogg and Osburn libraries received grant funding to do just that.

Largely provided by the Idaho Commission for Libraries, the grant funds will assist Kellogg Library Director, Danni Boylan, and Osburn Director, Jamee Sperry, with creating/expanding some exciting projects.

In Kellogg, Boylan explains that her library has received funding from three separate grants this year alone.

The largest and most recent, coming in at $6,000, was applied for on Aug. 31, 2019, and is a grant that ICFL offers every year.

"They are a really great support system for all libraries in the whole state of Idaho," Boylan said.

The funding from this latest grant will be utilized for three separate elements: assembling literacy kits, restructuring the in-house literacy program and creating a pop-up library/marketing.

Boylan explains that the literacy kits will focus on different themes to develop early literacy skills (Ex. colors, shapes, alphabet, numbers) for children ages 3-5. The kits will include educational DVD's, books related to the chosen theme and hands-on tools for visual learning.

They will be available to families that don't have access to pre-school.

"We want resources to be available inside the home and parents can work with their child on their own time," she said.

Boylan is looking to assemble 10 kits, but it will depend on what theme is chosen and on availability of materials.

She hopes to assemble the kits to meet the needs of an individual student and complement learning done at school.

"Say the kindergarten teacher has incoming students and she notices that they need help with scissors, tracing lines, recognizing the alphabet," she said, "that's valuable information for us so we can assemble the kits to address those gaps."

The next element is restructuring the in-house literacy program.

The program has suffered from low attendance recently. The library tried changing meeting times and having more hands-on activities, but it hasn't helped much.

Boylan hopes to get program ideas from author Lynn Baker, who has written books on the subject of structuring a program such as this.

The funding will also buy hands-on learning aids for a more visual learning experience.

Lastly, funding will also go toward creating a pop-up library and marketing it to the community.

"We could host story time anywhere!" Boylan explained. "We want to do more stuff in the summer and have more programs in the park."

Being able to set up at different locations allows the library the opportunity to get out into the community more and be seen.

"We really just want to reach out to families," she said. "Let them know where we are and what resources we have to offer."

Money for this grant will come in as soon as the city of Kellogg adjusts its budget.

Funding from the other two grants received this year was also important. The second grant allowed the library to upgrade its Wi-Fi, which is now stronger and reaches further away than ever. The other grant paid for marketing costs, such as a new logo and physical items for the pop-up library.

The Kellogg Public Library is located at 16 W. Market Ave. in Kellogg and can be reached by phone at 208-786-7231.

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In Osburn, Sperry also received funds from the ICFL in the amount of $1,200.

Sperry explains that the grant funding will primarily be used to pay for advertising adult college workshops at the library, which she hopes to kick up at the end of October.

"The workshops will be held to help adults navigate the process of pursuing higher education," she said.

The workshops could be compared to what a high school senior may experience as they near graduation.

They are designed to help attendees find the right college for what they want to study and discover financial aid opportunities.

A small amount of the funding will also be going to participating high-school counselors, who will lead the events.

On top of the funding, Sperry is also excited about a new service she can offer that was provided by the ICFL when she received the grant.

"Tutor.com was an added bonus that we didn't know that we were getting," she said.

Powered by the Princeton Review, tutor.com offers a wide array of services to help both kids and adults.

From help with standard school subjects to help on resume writing and job searching — tutor.com can be a free resource for those with a library card.

"All they need to do is come in and we'll set them up," Sperry said.

The Osburn Public Library is located at 921 E. Mullan Ave. in Osburn and can be reached by phone at 208-752-9711.