Library Receives Grant from Paul Post Fund

The library has been awarded a $1,000 grant from the Paul Post Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation. The Paul Post Fund seeks “to support Vermont libraries to encourage and enhance reading by young adults. The fund has a primary interest in literacy projects that will engage young people.”

The library’s grant application proposed making a significant, one-time investment in graphic novels for tweens and teens, which will include a “how-to” section to inspire creativity in addition to literacy. The grant will also fund a week long comic camp with a local artist, which will support Middle and High School students as they create their own graphic novels.

Supporting literacy and a love of learning is a central tenet of Ilsley Public Library’s mission, and in recent years we have focused our efforts on Middle and High School students. Tween and Teen Librarian Kathryn Laliberte has been working with a Teen Advisory Group to plan engaging programs and build the young adult collection based on their interests. What we have learned is that young adults are far more interested in graphic novels than we ever realized. As our Tween and Teen Librarian purchases new graphic novels, they are the first to fly off the shelf. When she plans programs based around graphic novels, attendance is high. As a staff, we are learning more about graphic novels by attending webinars and reading professional literature on the subject.

We are wholeheartedly embracing what we’ve learned, and are thrilled that this grant will allow us to increase our graphic novel offerings for young adults. Libraries are at their best when they turn outward and respond to their community’s needs directly; acting on the advice of the Teen Advisory Group, and bolstering our graphic novel holdings, will demonstrate to young adults that their opinions are important, and that the library is here to listen and respond to their voices.