OAKLAND CITY — The Oakland City — Columbia Township Public Library is one of 100 libraries to participate in the third round of Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an American Library Association initiative that helps library workers better serve their small and rural communities.

The competitive award comes with a $3,000 grant that will help the library host a community conversation about the best ways the library can serve seniors in the areas of health, wellness, and lifelong learning.

“We are so proud to be chosen for this amazing opportunity,” said Library Director Julie Elmore “We are looking forward to hosting conversations to better understand what our resources and programs our residents need and want to build a happier and healthier community.”

As part of the grant, Elmore will take an online course in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff will host an in-person conversation with residents and use the grant funds to purchase resources and program supplies. Elmore explains “if we learn our seniors want more resources related to healthier living or cooking for one or two people, the grant will fund additional cookbooks and programs like air-fryer cooking and exercise classes for older adults.”

The end goal will be to create opportunities for area seniors to come together and connect with others in the community to combat isolation and increased health and well-being.

The initial conversation will be in January of 2022. Those interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation can contact Elmore at 812-749-3559 or visit the library for more information.

Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries.


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