The Kodiak Public Library was just accepted into a program geared toward youth in rural areas. The Future Ready with the Library project will help middle schoolers with college and career readiness and begin with 20 different librarians.
The project’s organizing agencies are the Young Adult Library Services Association and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, and they’ve been able to implement the program through a grant of roughly $305,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Kodiak Public Library Director Katie Baxter says in the first stage, the grant money will go towards training. That will involve a lot of video chats with fellow participants.
“I as a librarian so appreciate the passion and the deep knowledge and experience of my colleagues that anytime that I can be spending with those people helps me harness my own energies and capacity so I can work more efficiently, I work more meaningfully because we’re recognizing the common denominators of these rural communities.”
Baxter explains the librarians will work to further develop the program and guide more libraries into the network over the grant’s three-year period.
“By the end of the grant, there will be 80 people to have gone through the training and this first group in the cohort helps to kick it off, establish an infrastructure and a baseline, so in turn I’ll be sharing my info with the next group of people and then so on and so on.”
Baxter says there are a lot of different directions the project could go, and the participants are in the process of creating a “think tank” to brainstorm programs and ideas.