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MCPL receives $10,000 grant

$10,000 grant will help the library work with residents with disabilities

Mary Cotton Public Library has been selected as one of 310 libraries to participate in round two of Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that provides community engagement and accessibility resources to small and rural libraries to help them better serve people with disabilities.

The competitive award comes with a $10,000 grant that will help the library provide portable WiFi hotspots, increase online digital e-book and audiobook content and provide training to patrons on how to use these resources. In addition, the library plans to add to its special DARE collection that focuses on special fonts and subjects that will improve reading enjoyment to Dyslexics, Autistics and other Neurodivergent  (ADD, ADHD) patrons. New audiobooks and services for the Blind and Deaf are available through the Library, as well.   

“We are so proud to be chosen for this amazing opportunity,” said Library Director Kim Priest. “We have worked hard to make the space accessible to most physical disabilities, but this grant will allow our library to get to know our residents with disabilities better. It will help us improve our services to ensure this population feels welcome and comfortable in our space. Open discussions about the needs of our patrons are always welcome.”

As part of the grant, MCPL staff has taken an online course in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff will then host public conversation with residents about specific needs, how to make the library more accessible and provide better service to those with disabilities. 

If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, please contact Kim Priest at 785-284-3160 or

About ALA

Since 2014, ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative has re-imagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types have utilized free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a space for residents to come together and discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff. 

Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities is an initiative of the ALA in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).


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