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Building Equitable Library Services that Empower Public Access and Community Resilience

Institute of Museum and Library Services logo

Cornerstones of Science was recently awarded a competitive two-year federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) totaling close to $250,000. The funds will assist state and public libraries to develop equitable library services to empower new users of the library to have access to relevant science-based community information they can use to take action that improves the quality of their lives.

Chris Goodwin, President of Cornerstones said, “This award of competitive funding really demonstrates the importance of Cornerstones’ role in bringing science experiences to people that spark curiosity and foster a deeper connection to the world around us. Over the next two years, we will work in partnership with science providers, academia, and libraries (both public and state library agencies) throughout the country. We will build on our 21-year history that began in the Brunswick Public Library and was supported by our founder Lee Grodzins. Nearly 130 grant proposals were submitted and ours was one of the 39 that was funded. Representative Chellie Pingree even called and congratulated us on this award.”

“There is strong evidence that the issues our communities must address, such as public health, safe drinking water, food insecurity, and our changing climates really affect our most vulnerable, disadvantaged populations,” said Cynthia Randall, Executive Director of Cornerstones. For this project, Cornerstones is collaborating with state and public libraries of Maryland, Idaho and Connecticut, the University of Missouri’s School of Information Science & Learning Technologies, the Institute for Learning Innovation, the National League of Cities, and OCLC/WebJunction, as well as a diverse panel of experts in equity and social justice, informal science learning, and library professions.

Gail Hurley of the Connecticut State Library believes that, “to accomplish significant long-term change within a library, its leaders must be involved. These leaders shape public library priorities. They provide equitable library services and broaden access to critical science-based community resources. Further, they work in partnership with their local governments and community leaders.”

About the funding agency

This grant is made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS Grant #RE-250085-OLS-21). Their mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov.

The views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.