June 7, 2005 Twelve Literacy Projects Receive Grants from the Center for the Book

“Reading Powers the Mind” Emphasizes Community Partnerships

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

Twelve public libraries with literacy programs recently each received $3,000 grants from the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress as part of the center’s 2005-2006 Reading Powers the Mind family literacy project.

Funding for Reading Powers the Mind came from the Viburnum Foundation, which made a contribution to the Center for the Book in 2003.

The 12 public libraries are located in 12 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

Each of the libraries’ projects emphasizes a partnership between the public library and local community organizations or agencies. “These are exciting, innovative projects that will test several types of library-community partnerships that could be replicated in other states,” said John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book.

The 12 libraries and their community partners will take part in the Center for the Book’s Reading Powers the Mind family literacy workshop at the Library of Congress on Aug. 3-5. Observers are welcome at the workshop; however, they must register by July 15 by contacting the center at cfb@loc.gov.

Speakers at the workshop will include representatives from U.S. government agencies and national nonprofit organizations dedicated to family literacy issues. Thegovernment agencies are the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice; the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Technology in Education Programs; and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The nonprofit organizations are the American Library Association; ASPIRA, an organization that advances the aspirations of Latino youth; the Boys and Girls Clubs of America; the Center for Summer Learning; the Child Welfare League of America, the Children’s Defense Fund; the Council for Professional Recognition; the National Council of LaRaza; the National Rural Early Learning Initiative at Mississippi State University; Pre-K Now; and Zero to Three.

From 1998 to 2003, the Viburnum Foundation supported family literacy projects in 222 rural libraries in 10 states as part of the Center for the Book/Viburnum Foundation Family Literacy Project. During that time, the center, with help from affiliated state centers, organized and staffed throughout the country 12 two-day training workshops for project participants. With the 2003 contribution, the project was renamed Reading Powers the Mind, and 12 projects were supported in 2004-2005.

The 12 public libraries that received grants are listed below. For further details about individual projects, contact the Center for the Book at cfb@loc.gov.

  • Alabama: Ozark-Dale Public Library, Ozark.
  • Arizona: Tucson-Pima County Public Library, Tucson.
  • Arkansas: Crawford County Library System, Van Buren.
  • Georgia: Ohoopee Regional Library, Vidalia.
  • Louisiana: East Baton Rouge Parish Library, East Baton Rouge.
  • Mississippi: Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, N. Columbus.
  • New Mexico: Belen Public Library, Belen.
  • Oklahoma: Pioneer Library System, Norman.
  • South Carolina: Colleton County Memorial Library, Walterboro.
  • Tennessee: Gibson County Memorial Library, Trenton.
  • Texas: Longview Public Library, Longview.
  • West Virginia: Hamlin-Lincoln County Public Library, Hamlin.


PR 05-139
ISSN 0731-3527