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Alfred Box of Books Library receives major grant for humanities

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$10,000 Grant Will Help the Library Recover from the Coronavirus Pandemic

ALFRED — The Alfred Box of Books Library has been selected as one of 200 libraries nationwide for the American Library Association’s American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries opportunity, an emergency relief program to assist libraries that have been adversely affected by the pandemic.

With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Box of Books Library will use funds to anchor itself in the community as a strong humanities institution. The competitive award comes with a $10,000 grant that will help the library deliver excellent programs and services related to culture, history, literature, and other humanities subjects.

More than 370 libraries applied for the grant, according to ALA. View the full list of selected libraries.
The participating libraries, selected through a competitive, peer-reviewed application process, include public libraries, academic/college libraries, K-12 libraries, and tribal, special and prison libraries. The recipients represent 45 states and Puerto Rico and serve communities ranging in size from 642 residents in Weir, Kansas, to the city of Los Angeles. Libraries were chosen with an emphasis on reaching historically underserved and/or rural communities.

“We are so proud and excited to be chosen for this amazing opportunity,” said Library Director Melanie Miller. “This grant will allow our library to better serve our patrons and plan strong, enriching humanities programming as we come out of the pandemic.”

The Box of Books Library will use the grant funds to in several different ways. In response to community members’ concerns during focus groups, we planned programs to address issues of community connection, providing opportunities for engagement, and ways for families to meet one another. This will include a Human Library even in partnership with Alfred State College and Alfred University Libraries, it will include a One Book, One Community reading event in partnership with the libraries of Alfred State and Alfred University, and a kids book club.

To learn more about the library’s plans for the grant, please visit

“Libraries have faced significant hardships throughout the pandemic —from budget cuts to staff furloughs to building closures — especially in our communities of the greatest need,” said ALA President Patty Wong. “This crucial support from NEH will enable our beloved institutions, and the dedicated people who run them, to rebuild and emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.”

American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.”

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