Inaugural Country Libraries Grants Program - Closing Friday 4 June 2021

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Inaugural Country Libraries Grants Program

Overview and Background

In 2021 the Australian educational charity LBW Trust launched a new annual fundraising initiative – National Backyard Cricket (NBYC) (https://www.nationalbackyardcricket.com/).

The concept is simple: Friends and families organise a game of cricket - in the park, at the beach, at home - and raise funds for a range of worthy educational causes.

Historically the LBW Trust has raised funds for disadvantaged students in cricket-playing nations around the world. With NBYC, it decided it also wanted to support an Australian cause, and with the assistance of Friends of Libraries Australia (FOLA), we agreed that country public libraries were the perfect recipients of our efforts.

Country libraries deliver essential educational and employment-related services, and they play a critical, and under-recognised, role in the cultural and economic life of regional communities. Because of the small populations they serve, they also struggle for funding, particularly when compared to their city cousins.

This year’s NBYC took place during the month of January. Despite the shadow of Covid restrictions, the event attracted thousands of people who participated in more than 150 cricket games and raised more than $27,000 for Australia’s country public libraries. It was a fabulous beginning!

We are already planning next January’s NBYC, and we have established a relationship with the Australian Public Libraries Alliance (APLA) to generate more awareness, increase participation, and raise more funds for country public libraries. We will have more to say about the upcoming NBYC in coming months. In the meantime, we need to disburse the funds raised this year, and FOLA is assisting NBYC in developing a simple, fair, and direct way to do so.

Next Steps: A Simple Application Process to Receive Your Grant

Our objective is to make direct grants to country libraries that will support the work already being undertaken in any of the following areas:

  • Educational programs related to technology literacy, career and employment opportunity development, and pathways from school to further education and employment.
  • English as an Additional Language lessons for refugees or others.
  • Increased access to physical resources, including computers and related hardware.
  • Other education-related programs and initiatives.

Grants will be made based on several factors, including:

  • Compliance with the application terms.
  • The number and geographic representation of applications received.

Grants will range from $500 to $1,500. Grant applications will be reviewed by NBYC and FOLA, and all decisions will be final.

Applications have been extended to Friday 4 June 2021.

Successful applicants will be notified no later than 30 June 2021.

The application is available via the following link and can be accessed from any web browser.

APPLY NOW - https://bit.ly/3ndiEEJ

We hope you will apply, and that you will also share this information with other country libraries in your region and across Australia.

Many thanks for your enthusiasm and support for what we hope will become an annual event in support of Australia’s country public libraries. If you have any questions, you may reach us at: folafriends@gmail.com or at jgoodman@betterlibraries.org.au.

Jack Goodman                                               Daniel Ferguson

President, FOLA                                             Executive Director, FOLA