National Library Week (April 19-25) is here—in fact, today is also National Library Workers’ Day. We at Candid know very well that libraries are overlooked and underfunded organizations that play a critical role in today’s society by providing free programs, resources, and services to millions of adults, children, and youth every day around the United States. According to a recent Gallup poll, visiting the local library is, by far, the most common cultural activity Americans engage in, with young adults, women, and low-income households being the most frequent visitors.
Libraries are critical social infrastructure, especially in times of crisis.
But many libraries lack the resources and support to innovate and build upon the many ways they can transform their communities. Especially now, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, libraries are facing unprecedented challenges trying to meet community needs. Many of them, though, are doing just that—through e-books, one-on-one research assistance, remote programming, and more.
That’s why, during National Library Week, I want to highlight a tool that Candid developed with the help of a generous grant from the Knight Foundation and continuing funding from the Tocker Foundation: Visualizing Funding for Libraries. This data tool and capacity building portal is designed to help libraries and their supporters thrive. The free database can help public, academic, and school libraries, as well as special collections, archives, and digital libraries, identify funding opportunities to support innovative projects and solutions for their communities.
In 2019, nearly 1,500 grants were awarded to libraries, resulting in over $70 million in funding. But beyond hard numbers, the tool is a good way to see who is funding library projects, to analyze funder and library networks, support your knowledge about the field, identify gaps in funding, and discover natural collaborators. Check out Visualizing Funding for Libraries today, and share it with your network.
Candid is privileged to partner with nearly 350 public, state, and academic libraries through our Funding Information Network program. Our network of partners across the United States and around the globe offers on-site training and access to our databases, such as Foundation Directory Online. In the wake of COVID-19, many of these locations have been temporarily closed but are still on the front lines serving their patrons’ needs. You can connect directly with Candid’s team of Online Librarians to find your local Candid partner: https://grantspace.org/ask-us/
Libraries, we salute you.