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$3,000 Grant Will Help the Library Work with Residents on Local Issues through Book Sets


Montgomery City— The Montgomery City Public Library has been selected as one of 100 libraries to participate in round three of 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 the library connect with community members about issues facing Montgomery City through book sets and community conversations.

“We are very proud to be chosen for this incredible opportunity,” said Library Director Gaylee Harris. “This grant will allow our library to get to know our residents better and help us build a happier and healthier community for our families and patrons.”

As part of the grant, the Montgomery City Public Library staff will take an online course in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff will use grant money to purchase book sets for book clubs and patrons to read and then host in-person conversations with residents about the book topic.

The first book to be read and discussed is Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance dealing with poverty in a rural setting.  The library hopes that a community conversation will enable residents to better understand the experiences and issues of others.  The second community read will be The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson.  The discussion will focus on generating ideas of how to reach community members who do not use the library nor have access to it in another way. 

If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, please contact Gaylee Harris at or 573-564-8022 for more information.

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: 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).”