Providence Public Library Receives $498,172 IMLS National Leadership Grant

Providence Public Library (PPL), in partnership with Cranston Public Library (CPL) and other statewide partners, has received a $498,172 Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS) National Leadership Grant to help boost lifelong learning opportunities and increase access to digital literacy programs in Rhode Island. In addition to PPL and CPL, partners include Rhode Island Adult Education Professional Development Center (at Westbay Collaborative), Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative (RIFLI), Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS), and TechACCESS of Rhode Island.

The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. U.S. Senator Jack Reed (RI) authored and successfully passed the bipartisan Museum and Library Services Act of 2010, which annually provides needed federal assistance to museums and libraries across the country. 

To address the needs of the underserved population of Providence, PPL will use its grant to create Adult Lifelong Learning Access (ALLACCESS).  ALLAccess in the Libraries will demonstrate the potential for integrating library, digital literacy, technology access, adult education, and workforce services through the library. Ongoing analysis, communication, and evaluation are key elements of the program. ALLACCESS will track education and workforce outcomes for over 1,000 patrons who participate. Success rates and cost per outcome will be analyzed in the context of the statewide adult education and workforce system. ALLACCESS in the Library has four key objectives:

  • Overcome barriers to access in education and workforce services for all adults
  • Develop, expand and improve statewide resources for adult online learning and workforce development
  • Establish effective models to deliver and support education and workforce services for adults in the libraries
  • Build a data-driven case for libraries’ role in providing adult education and workforce services

Achieving these objectives will position libraries as community anchors for accessible education and workforce services for adults. The project aims to deliver replicable and fundable models for delivering access, education, and workforce services to the adult populations who are most in need.

The partners will provide a matching amount of $781,834 for the project.

 “With our mission to inspire lifelong education among all Rhode Islanders, Providence Public Library has a long tradition of developing and implementing innovative, partner-driven adult literacy initiatives such as the ALLACCESS effort, made possible with this IMLS funding.  We are pleased and expect, along with our many high-performing partners who share our vision for helping Rhode Island adults achieve their education goals, that the expanded resources that this grant enables will substantially increase our ability to serve adults with low education attainment, low English-literacy, disabilities, and/or low digital literacy,” said Providence Public Library Director Dale Thompson.

In this round of funding, IMLS is awarding grants for 62 library projects totaling $14,670,662 million. The grant awardees were selected from more than 285 applications requesting a total of nearly $37,977,530 million. Many of the institutions receiving grants are required to provide matching funds, and as a result these institutions are leveraging an additional $9.9 million in non-federal spending this year.  

See more at: