KCPL receives largest funding of Missouri State Library’s Strengthen Missourians Grant

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The KCPL’s pop-up library being in action. // Courtesy of Kansas City Public Library

The Kansas City Public Library received the largest grant out of 41 recipients across the state selected for the Missouri State Library’s Strengthen Missourians Grant. The $175,000 grant will go towards growing the KCPL’s mobile services and community outreach.

The grant will enhance the library’s ability to deliver digital, educational, and informational resources to members of the community in most need.

The financial aid will go towards adding new vehicles to the library’s current mobile fleet. The KCPL will also create an additional grant-funded position within mobile services.

The current fleet vehicle for the KCPL’s mobile services supports all four branches of the public library’s community programs. The van facilitates on-site, pop-up libraries, piloting books to-go delivery boxes, outreach events, and piloting a community bookmobile service route.

These efforts go as far as to provide reading material to pre-kindergarten literacy programs to reading material for elders in the community. Outreach also entails public events—such as Pop in at the Park—summer reading programs, and providing meals for such events.

The Strengthen Missourians Grant will allow the library’s outreach department to continue to focus on casting a wider geographic net to ensure library resources are accessible to those in its service district who need them most.

The primary goal involves getting vital resources to as many in the community as possible. The mobile outreach system aids in bridging the gap for those without digital or monetary resources, the unhoused, and others who are unavailable to come to onsite resources.

“We are excited to connect with a wider audience of children and families by meeting them where they are,” says Outreach Youth Services Librarian Elizabeth Giles.

The mobile outreach program helps the library respond more fittingly to the needs of the community. The library emphasizes that more wheels on the ground will create better knowledge of the library’s access and outreach—whether that be in services or relations.

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