Readsboro was one of six Vermont towns to receive CliF’s Rural Libraries grant. The grant is given to towns with 5,000 or fewer residents, based upon proven local need, the state of the library’s children’s collection, and collaboration between the library and elementary school. Grants are applied for by each town’s librarian, and according to Readsboro librarian Cindy Candiloro, Readsboro’s library, and community, will benefit in multiple ways.
“It’s like a winning scratch ticket,” said Candiloro, who will be choosing the children’s books. “It’s an opportunity to choose $2,000 in new, hardcover picture books, and children’s literacy is something so important to me.”
In order to receive the grant, Readsboro Community Library had to show NECAP scores, and a connection between the school and the library working together. Candiloro said that Readsboro was a unique case because the school shares a library with the town. School librarian Laura Ashbrook will also be selecting 25 books for the school-specific portion of the library. As a part of the grant, Readsboro Preschool Inc. will also be allowed to choose 30 books and host presentations, while each child who attends the preschool will be able to pick a free book twice a year.
Candiloro has also run the library’s “Reading is Fundamental” program for nearly 20 years, which allows her to choose books through distributors at only one-fourth of the cost, and gives free books to the town’s children twice each year.
“With our current budgets, our children’s picture books are worn from circulation,” said Candiloro. “It’s always nice to have a fresh set of materials to encourage lifelong readers. Reading is something that is lifelong learning, and everything children do links to reading. If they get engaged at an early age, they will read more for pleasure, and that builds their knowledge of the world around them.”
Candiloro said the books she chooses with the grant money will feature classics, popular writers, and books that teach children about the world around them.