BML Awarded $3,000 National Grant for Small and Rural Libraries

Baxter Memorial Library has been selected as one of 300 libraries to participate in Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that helps library workers better serve their small and rural communities. The competitive award comes with a $3,000 grant that will help BML support area youth, particularly those being educated at home, with an updated and enhanced collection of educational materials, programs and other resources.

The public library is at the heart of homeschooling for so many reasons – financial, social, and inspirational. As a former home educator, I was dependent upon the public library to provide engaging resources, rich programming and unique inspiration for my (now grown) son. Now that I’m a library director, I see how the spirited curiosity and energy of homeschooling students and the dedication and passion of their parents make the library a better place for everyone.

But, without access to quality educational materials and experiences, homeschooled children are in danger of falling behind their public schooled peers. Through this grant, Baxter Memorial Library hopes to prevent that from happening.   

Rather than sitting back and waiting for homeschooling families to ask for what they need, Baxter Memorial Library would like to take the initiative and find out how we can best support both those who are seasoned home educators and those who are new to alternative education.  What resources would enrich their lives?  How can we best serve them?

As part of the grant, I’ll host a conversation with area residents about how the library can best support home educators and make use of the grant funds to update and enrich the educational resources available to homeschooling – and, ultimately, all – families. It’s my hope that, with this grant and a bit of dedication, Baxter Memorial Library can become a hub for homeschooling resources in the Upper Valley community. New homeschoolers will be able to find local support to help them get started, connect to fellow homeschoolers, learn about the incredible resources scattered throughout the area, and even find local experts tailored to their children’s interests – and veteran homeschoolers will appreciate an enhanced children’s collection, regular meetups, and engaging programs.

An incredibly wonderful bonus, of course, will be that all children, not just homeschoolers, will benefit from an enhanced selection of books and other circulating materials as well as inspirational and educational programming.

If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, please contact me at or call 763-2875.

“Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).”