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Keene Public Library selected for competitive federal humanities grant

Keene Public Library is pleased to announce it has been selected as one of 200 libraries nationwide for the American Library Association's American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries opportunity, an emergency relief program to assist libraries that have been adversely affected by the pandemic.

With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Keene Public Library will use funds to anchor itself in the community as a strong humanities institution. The competitive award comes with a $10,000 grant to help the library deliver excellent programs and services related to culture, history, literature, and other humanities subjects.

More than 370 libraries applied for the grant, according to ALA. The participating libraries, selected through a competitive, peer-reviewed application process, include public, academic/college libraries, K-12 libraries, and tribal, special, and prison libraries. The recipients represent 45 states and Puerto Rico and serve communities ranging in size from 642 residents in Weir, Kansas, to 3.967 million in the City of Los Angeles. Libraries were chosen to emphasize reaching a historically underserved and rural community.

"We are proud to be chosen for this amazing opportunity," said Gail Zachariah, Head of Engagement at Keene Public Library. "This grant will allow our library to serve our community better and plan strong, enriching humanities programming as we come out of the pandemic."

Keene Public Library will use the grant funds to purchase sound and filming equipment, software for streaming, and adaptive equipment to help make programs more accessible. Keene Public Library will also partner with the Historical Society of Cheshire County and Horatio Colony House Museum to offer a summer Chautauqua program.

"Libraries have faced significant hardships throughout the pandemic —from budget cuts to staff furloughs to building closures — especially in our communities of the greatest need," said ALA President Patty Wong. "This crucial support from NEH will enable our beloved institutions and the dedicated people who run them to rebuild and emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever."

American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021."

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