National Leadership Grant Supports
Family Place Libraries™ at 28 Libraries in 7 States.

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(Sept. 28, 2012) The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded the Middle Country Public Library a National Leadership Grant of $450,000 to support their Family Place Libraries™ initiative. More than 200 institutions applied for the federal grant program and only eleven institutions throughout the nation received this competitive grant in the Demonstration category, which included only two public libraries and three public library systems. The Demonstration grant supports projects that produce a replicable model or practice that is usable, adaptable or scalable by other institutions for improving services and performance.

The grant money will be distributed over the next three years, beginning December of this year, to fund staff training, site visits and project implementation. During this time, Middle Country Library staff will work with 28 libraries across eight states to implement and evaluate Family Place Libraries, a library-based early childhood and family support service model. This multi-phase program will focus on parents and caregivers as first teachers, will be organized around the developmental needs of the child, and will link library services with other regional and local family support agencies. The program emphasizes libraries as key institutions within the early childhood and family support community and partners in the promotion of healthy child and family development. Partner libraries have been selected in Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas to include communities in a variety of socioeconomic and diverse urban, suburban and rural settings.

"Libraries offer patrons a plethora of resources and tools, many of which target children during the very early critical years of their development," stated Library Director Sandra Feinberg. "Our goal is to develop lifelong learners while fostering home/-library/community connections, to provide community support for families with very young children. This prestigious Demonstration grant acknowledges the power of the Family Place initiative and equips us with the necessary tools to implement our progressive model nationwide."