NCFL awarded grant to increase Latinx participation in libraries

The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) and the Public Library Association (PLA) have been selected to lead an initiative aimed at increasing Latinx parent participation in U.S. libraries.

Last month, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced that NCFL and PLA will receive a planning grant under the National Leadership Grants for Libraries category. As part of an IMLS $18.2 million investment in U.S. library initiatives, the grant is meant to support projects that address significant challenges and opportunities facing the library field and that have the potential to advance theory and practice with new tools, research findings, models, services, practices, or alliances that will be widely used.

Starting Sept. 1, 2020, NCFL and PLA will employ a co-design process to involve Latinx parents in creating services designed for them. The project will undertake an environmental scan and engage in community-based learning with library staff and parents. Ultimately, the two organizations will develop and document methods for how library staff can support authentic Latinx parent participation, with a goal of generating strategies and practices for authentic parent participation as well as identifying approaches and best practices that can be piloted on a national scale.

Project work will take place in three (urban, suburban, and rural) locations: the Dallas Public Library, Arapahoe Libraries (Sheridan, Colo.), and Forest Grove City Library (Ore.).

Family engagement is a shared responsibility among families, educators, and communities to support children’s learning and development. The potential for public libraries to support family engagement and family literacy is substantial, given their unique position in the community as free, accessible learning environments which serve all ages and their ability to address a wide range of caregiver needs, such as employment or access to social services.

Read NCFL’s full release in English or Spanish.