grantThe objective of a DLA funded grant is to provide funds that help cover library programs or exhibitions that foster a sense of community engagement, and/or present timely topics of interest in areas such as civics, humanities, pop culture, world events, literature, health, family, or other areas as deemed appropriate.


Review the Community Engagement Grant 2019 flyer.

Review the GRANT APPLICANT FACT SHEET for grant requirements and application criteria.

Access the Grant Application Form

Application cycle opens June 3, 2019 and the deadline to submit an application is September 30, 2019

Have questions, email AT


Community Engagement Grant 2019 Award News

Congratulations to the New Castle Public Library!

On January 8, 2019, New Castle Public Library was awarded a $500 Community Engagement grant for their proposal Bike Bookmobile.  In talking with Nicole Ballance she said her inspiration for the idea came from her local park.  “There are lots of people around the library and in the nearby park all summer long, including summer camps that are nearby.  A bike bookmobile would make the library visible where the people are”.  Nicole has done a lot of research on bike bookmobiles through Facebook and social media.  As far as she’s aware, this would be the first one for Delaware.  She has been in contact with libraries that have done this and learned that it’s most cost effective to build your own.  A mountain bike has been donated to the library, and funds from the grant, plus possible support from their Friends group, will go to purchase the wood and other hardware needed to construct the book carrier.

Nicole envisions starting with children’s books, chapter books and picture books and hopes to check the items out at the park.  “A lot of this will be experimental.  We want to bring the bike bookmobile to places where people are out and about, and maybe expand this outreach to other locations if the logistics can be figured out” said Nicole.

The goal is to have the bike bookmobile ready for the Separation Day parade in June. 


Shown in photo from the left:
Cathay Keough, DLA Executive Director
Michelle Hughes, DLA Immediate Past President and Grant Coordinator
Sara Thomas, Children’s Librarian, New Castle Public Library
Nicole Ballance, Principal Library Assistant, New Castle Public Library
Julie Kirk, Director, New Castle Public Library
Sarah Katz, DLA President
Joel Rudnick, DLA Treasurer


Congratulations to the Laurel Public Library!

On January 9, 2019, Laurel Public Library was awarded a $500 DLA Community Engagement grant for their proposal Healthy Living with the Laurel Public Library.  In talking with Wenona Phillips she said her inspiration came from the mall!  She wanted to create an indoor walking space at the library, similar to what you would find in many local malls.  And not just walking.  Users can check out a leg machine, pedometer, or fitness cards.  Laurel launched this initiative January 2, 2019 and it’s had a successful start.  Wenona has plans to add dumbbells for future checkout and also to partner with the Food Bank of DE for healthy family food programs.  The Teen group at Laurel had added exercise equipment at the Roger C. Fisher Memorial Park, which is just around the corner from the library, a few years ago so this is a nice tie-in with the new Healthy Living program.

Carol Mitchell, President of the Friends of Laurel Public Library is happy the teens will be involved in this initiative.  Gail Bruce, Library Director, agrees.  “This is really exciting!  It’s taken several years, but the Library offers the perfect safe and warm space to replicate a mall walking loop.  The Laurel Public Library has a good working relationship with the community and this is another extension of our community service”.  Wenona has the teens partner with the local senior center, where teens offer to walk with a senior.  The teens will also be creating outdoor trails this spring / summer, once the weather breaks.

Shown in photo from the left:
Back row:
Carol Mitchell, President, Friends of Laurel Public Library
Gail Bruce, Director, Laurel Public Library
Rev. Howard Backus, Board member
Wenona Phillips, Assistant Director & Head of Circulation, Laurel Public Library
Cheryl Martin, Board Treasurer
Moggie Moyer, Board President
Terry Wright, Board Vice President
Mona Wright, Board Member

Front row:
Gregg McCullough, Adult Services Librarian, Laurel Public Library
Michelle Hughes, DLA Immediate Past President and Grant Coordinator
Cathay Keough, DLA Executive Director
Sarah Katz, DLA President
Joel Rudnick, DLA Treasurer

DLA President Sarah Katz demonstrates the Healthy Living Walking Club board at the Laurel Public Library.


Congratulations to the Dover Public Library!

On February 27, 2019, Dover Public Library was awarded a $500 Community Engagement grant for their proposal Tuesday in the Parks.  Tuesday in the Parks was a successful pilot program the summer of 2018, and this year Margie Cyr, Library Director, plans to expand services, which the DLA Community Engagement grant will help her do!  Through last years efforts she has found that programs specifically crafted for large audiences and that involve interaction and audience involvement are most successful.  Kent County public library will also be providing bookmobile services at the Tuesday events.

“Library staff have long been aware that recent cultural and demographic changes in our community have created a population of community members who, due to work, family dynamics, lack of transportation, cannot attend in-house library programs” said Margie Cyr.  Through talks with fellow co-workers in the Parks & Recreation department she found they were having the same conversation.  By partnering with the Parks & Rec department, the library can bring a reading or learning enrichment program followed by a physical activity and lunch coordinated by Parks & Rec staff.  Said Margie “Bringing the library and its staff outside the library walls and engaging with the public in an informal manner extends the library into the community and promotes the library as a service and not a facility”.

The Tuesday in the Parks programs will run from June 18 – August 6.


Shown in photo from the left:

Sarah Katz, DLA President
Sherwanda Rachal-Speaks, City of Dover Recreation Specialist
Kirby Hudson, Director, City of Dover Parks & Recreation
Margie Cyr, Director, Dover Public Library
Michelle Hughes, DLA Immediate Past President and Grant Coordinator
Cathay Keough, DLA Executive Director
Joel Rudnick, DLA Treasurer

2018 Grant recipients