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MCLS Receives Grant

Osceola Public Library RECEIVES NATIONAL GRANT FOR SMALL AND RURAL LIBRARIES $10,000 Grant Will Help the Library Work with Residents with Disabilities

Osceola — The Osceola Public Library has been selected as one of 240 libraries to participate in Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that provides community engagement and accessibility resources to small and rural libraries to help them better serve people with disabilities.

The competitive award comes with a $10,000 grant that will help the library install automatic doors.

“We are so proud to be chosen for this amazing opportunity,” said Library Director Lowell Walters. “This grant will allow our library to get to know our residents with disabilities better. It will help us improve our services to ensure this population feels welcome and comfortable in our space.”

As part of the grant, the Osceola Public Library staff will take an online course in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff will then host a conversation with residents about accessibility to the library and use the grant funds to purchase and install an automatic door.

Many of the patrons have issues entering and exiting the library. With these concerns in place, the library hopes to make accessibility easier by installing automatic doors.

If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, please contact Billie Bowman at 870-762-2431, or visit 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: Accessible Small and Rural Communities is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).”

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