Community Connections Grants

The State Library will again be offering Community Connections Grants to provide funding for libraries to hold unique, interactive, community-oriented events or programs.  This year's program will provide funding for events focused on notable women in North Carolina. These events will promote the culture or history of participating communities and should be designed to strengthen relationships between people from different backgrounds through diverse learning experiences.  These grants are offered under goal 3 of the LSTA Five Year Plan: Community Engagement. More information on eligibility and funding will be available August 2019.

Find examples of notable North Carolina women and program ideas on our She Changed the World website. 

This project was made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-18-0034-19).

2018 Award Recipients

2018 Award Recipients

Ashe County Public Library (Appalachian Regional Library)

Abstract: The library will publish a print magazine of veteran’s stories which were collected as part of the INVOLVING BOOKS program for distribution in the county.   The magazine will be uploaded in a digital format to a kiosk at the Museum of Ashe County History and will be accessible from the library’s webpage.

Once the magazine is published we plan to hold a special story time, “V is for Veteran,” for our youngest patrons.  Some children have grandparents represented in our Veteran History Project and others have family members actively serving in the military.  The children will be involved in creating cards or posters to show appreciation for our soldiers.  We also plan to showcase a special picture book, The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans (by, Barbara Elizabeth Walsh), on our library’s story walk during the months of November and December.

Burke County Public Library

Abstract: The purpose of this event is to collect, preserve, and share images and stories about the North Carolina School for the Deaf (NCSD) in Morganton.  NCSD opened in 1894 and has served a diverse population of deaf students from all over the state for almost 125 years.  Part of the historic campus of the school will soon undergo drastic changes as the Eastern ridge of the campus will be converted to become the home of the new North Carolina School of Science and Math, Morganton campus, scheduled to open for students in 2021. Some of the old buildings are being demolished, while other historic buildings are being saved and renovated to be used for the new school.  These changes are bringing up feelings of nostalgia, sentiment, loss, and also hope for progress among members of the community.  Our community is full of people who have a connection to the North Carolina School for the Deaf in some way.  While some people in the community have a direct connection to the school by either working or attending school there, many others in the community have indirect connections to the campus or memories associated with it.  Our goal is to capitalize on this time of transition for the campus to build a community history of the North Carolina School for the Deaf through pictures and to preserve and share these pictures with the entire community, inviting both the deaf and the hearing to come together to share memories of the school.

Cape Fear Community College

Abstract: The goal for the Get Graphic with CFCC program is to provide a pair of engaging reading and discussion activities centered around graphic novels for each of three groups of students from high schools that are located on CFCC property: Wilmington Early College High School (WECHS), Pender Early College High School (PECHS), and Southeast Area Technical High School (SEA-Tech) during the Fall 2018 term.

 Chapel Hill Public Library

Abstract: The Local History Trading Cards program will invite community members to learn about and engage with local history in a novel and creative way. Participants will create and submit original artwork illustrating or representing a person, place, or event significant in Chapel Hill's Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The Trading Cards program will be one part of a larger ongoing community history project in Chapel Hill. The goal of this project is to engage our community in an interactive, participatory program around local history.

Gaston County Public Library

Abstract: Wiley Cash is a New York Times bestselling author who grew up in Gastonia and has roots in the local community. In his latest novel, The Last Ballad, the subject matter is the 1929 Loray Mill Strike in Gastonia and the untimely death of Gaston County resident and union activist Ella May Wiggins. For many years, discussion of the Loray Strike was taboo in Gaston County; the residents viewed the events as a blemish on the community’s image or a secret that should remain locked in the closet. Only in recent years has there been discussion of strike events, causes, and aftermath from a historical perspective. This book has brought a great deal of attention and interest to the topic and is helping our community to recover from the traumatic and divisive events of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s.

Therefore the goal of this program is to provide residents of Gaston County and the surrounding area, particularly Senior Citizens and family members with ties to the Loray Mill and the Strike events of the 1920’s-1930’s, a chance to hear from a highly-regarded author with local ties, share their own reminiscences and family stories, hear the events depicted in The Last Ballad placed into historical context, and bring light to a part of our community’s past that has long been buried.

Person County Public Library

Abstract: In September 2018, Person County Public Library and Caswell County Public Library (Gunn Memorial Public Library) will hold a joint Community Read. Residents in both Person County and Caswell County will have access to copies of Margot Lee Shetterly’s acclaimed book Hidden Figures and have the opportunity to attend public book discussions moderated by library staff. The libraries will also hold screenings of the popular film Hidden Figures. Finally, the libraries will each host a visit with Dr. Christine Darden, who was featured in Shetterly’s book. Dr. Darden is a NASA engineer, native North Carolinian, and champion of diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. She will talk about her career at NASA and the challenges she overcame when she started her career. The Hidden Figures Community Read will spark community discussions about diversity and opportunity in the United States, specifically diversity in STEM fields. By highlighting the critical contributions of African-American women to NASA, this program will help overturn the perception that women and minorities have been peripheral to the history of science and technology. At community events, the libraries hope to facilitate productive conversations about discrimination in the workplace, stereotypes about STEM professionals, and possibilities for challenging systemic bias and other barriers to personal success. The libraries will also partner with K–12 schools in order to engage students and young people who are interested in STEM careers.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro University Libraries

Abstract: “Food is the ingredient that binds us together.” ~Unknown

In 2012, the UNCG Libraries digital projects team began a project to digitize several hundred home economics pamphlets housed in the Special Collections department. These pamphlets not only represent UNCG’s time as a women’s college, but also show how food and our relationship with food has changed over time. While we were scanning these pamphlets, an event which was ultimately called “Vintage Viands” was planned to promote this new digital collection. Library employees would get “hands-on” time with the collection by selecting a recipe to make for students and others on campus (including employees). This event has provided excellent publicity for the home economics pamphlets within the campus community, and has also provided off-campus attention, including articles in the News & Record, Our State Magazine, and 1808 Magazine promoting the event.

Since Vintage Viands has been so well received within our campus community, we want to be able to share it with the Greensboro community as a whole, though in a different form, which is where the Community Connections Grant comes into play. We want our collections to be discovered and used by a diverse population at one of the most diverse places possible, the supermarket. Taking our digital collections to the grocery stores will help us share these materials with a population we otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach because they don’t come to campus.

Wake Technical Community Colleges Perry Health Sciences Campus Library

Abstract: Health Industry literature suggests that students in the health sciences, particularly Nursing programs, experience greater levels of stress in their academic programs and clinical rounds (Chernomas & Shapiro, 2013; Moridi, Khaledi,  & Valiee, 2014; Wallace, Bourke, Tormoehlen, & Poe-Greskamp).  Implementing mindfulness and yoga practices into their daily routine as a student can have long-lasting, stress-reducing benefits that carry over to their chosen profession (Koren, 2017).  Mindfulness training, in particular, has shown to decrease stress and anxiety levels in Nursing students (Beddoe & Murphy, 2004).  As the Public Services Librarian for the Health Sciences campus, I have observed first-hand the stress and anxiety our students endure and project, while using the library to prepare for class.  Thus, the Health Sciences campus and library would like to provide our faculty and students with a workshop in mindfulness and yoga practices that can help with focus, stress, and anxiety.

The purpose of this event is to promote stress-reduction and relaxation through mindfulness and yoga techniques provided by an industry leader, while highlighting mindfulness resources available in the library. We intend to contract with Julie Kosey, former Executive Director of the Wellness Council of North Carolina and certified mindfulness and yoga practitioner (or a professional with similar credentials) to provide an interactive mindfulness and yoga workshop for approximately 25 participants.  This is also an opportunity for our students to connect through communal learning, to foster a sense of community through shared experience, and for the library to position itself as a provider of services and resources beyond the traditional books and computers.  Furthermore, the opportunity to train faculty who will continue to use the concepts and materials adds to the sustainability of the workshop’s desired outcomes.

 Wayne County Public Library

Abstract: This event will document the institutional history of the Borden Cotton Mill and Borden Manufacturing Company as part of our ongoing Harvesting Our History: Wayne County Agriculture series.  The Borden Manufacturing Company was a major yarn manufacturer in Goldsboro, NC from 1900-1997 and employed an average of 225 people at any given time.  The Borden Cotton Mill campus is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a landmark in Goldsboro that often gains the attention of locals and tourists alike.

The library chose to develop and execute this program not only because we believe this program will benefit the community by preserving the history of a major locally owned company, along with the lives the company affected; but because we believe this program will also aid in documenting the agricultural community in Wayne County and will serve as a stepping stone into deeper conversations about the importance of agriculture in our Wayne County. 

Project Portal

Project Portal

Information for Project Managers can be found on Basecamp.