Civic Hub Grant 2021

Reading, MA — At its July 8, 2021, Board meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) awarded $350,410 in 35 grants to public and special libraries across the Commonwealth under the Federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) which is funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Reading Public Library was awarded $10,000 for Reclaiming Your Story, a series of programs and workshops for children through adults that focus on advocacy through the art of storytelling. This will be the first year that the library has received a grant award for this program.

“This LSTA award is more than just a library grant, it is a community opportunity.” said library director Amy Fang Lannon. “We are excited to work and engage with individuals and groups across the town to collaboratively offer active and educational ways to help build a better Reading.”

Reclaiming Your Story will use three strategies – storytelling, community engagement, and civic immersion – to address domestic violence, community diversity, and how to be agents of change. Through collaborations with RESPOND, Inc, Young Audiences of Massachusetts and Reading’s Coalition for Prevention and Support, this project will amplify community dialogue and develop a healing library to empower participants to reclaim their identity, reject stereotypes and stigmas, and navigate periods of conflict and trauma. Events are set to begin October 2021.

 “This past year has shown us the importance of libraries to the communities they serve” said Robert Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development at the MBLC. “These grants allow libraries to address specific local needs. They demonstrate libraries’ commitment to serve all members of their communities, to education at any age, and to make local history accessible to everyone.”

In addition to the direct library grant program, the MBLC uses LSTA funds to support statewide programs and services including summer reading programs, research databases, the statewide eBook program, the Commonwealth Catalog and which has information and resources for residents.  LSTA is administered on the federal level by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in the Commonwealth by the MBLC. More information about LSTA can be found on the Board’s website at

IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Their mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. IMLS’ grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit

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