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.

DLA is looking for community-engaged programs that go beyond a presentation, and focus on community input and interaction.  Programs that provide accurate historical context, advocacy resources, or open dialogue/online discussion boards are some examples of community engagement offerings.  Projects where community-based organizations partner with a library are strongly preferred.



Review the Community Engagement Grant 2021 flyer.

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



Access the Grant Application Form

The FY22 grant application cycle will open September 2021.  

Have questions, email AT


Community Engagement Grant FY21 Award News


Congratulations to the University of Delaware Library!

The University of Delaware Library was awarded $600.00 for their proposal; A Celebration of Community: New London Road and School Hill.  This proposal was born from an idea to revisit an event that happened in 2017 with an African American community near the University.  This very vibrant community has a strong involvement in churches and preserving their history, however visually the community has been nearly wiped out by University buildings.  The University of Delaware (UD) Library, Museums and Press has partnered with them in the past and developed a digital collection on UDSpace (MSS-0784 Friends of School Hill Oral Histories and Images, May 2017) which provides a description of the school and surrounding community. 
The FY21 project will bring together prominent members of Newark’s African American community, Delaware history experts, and digital preservation professionals, to provide help for attendees researching the Black communities in Delaware using digital and physical resources, and help to preserve their historical documents and stories.
I had the opportunity to chat with Molly Olney-Zide from UD on January 7th and asked her what was the inspiration behind this idea.  Molly stated “One way to combat our racist history is to create anti-racist programs built collaboratively with the community ”.  The project also ties into the library’s strategic plan on building partnerships and collaborations.  It is the library’s mission to go out into the community and help build knowledge.  The relationship between UD Library and this community is a growing relationship.  The first event held with them was an oral history project in in 2004-2006.  The second event was held in 2017, and this current project is slated to be held Spring 2021.  Collaboratively revisiting this community every few years keeps building and strengthening the relationship.  According to Molly, this project embodies community engagement by “communicating with people to help them preserve, remember, and celebrate”.




























Congratulations to the Dover Public Library!

The Dover Public Library was awarded $450.00 for their proposal; StoryWalk.  A story walk is an event where text and illustrations from a work of literature are enlarged and posted on yard stakes or other equipment.  Sometimes scavenger hunts, or story questions are posted along the walk to encourage participant interaction.
The Dover Library plans to bring a story walk into select City of Dover parks.  The library will plan a virtual author visit sometime over the Summer 2021.  Community members can visit a park, read the story walk, and then have the opportunity to virtually talk to the author and ask questions. 
I had the opportunity to chat with Rosie Mujica from Dover on January 5th.  Rosie was able to attend a story walk webinar last year that was sponsored by the organization, Let’s Move In Libraries.  Through that training, Rosie was taught how to structure story walks, and to promote them through the library’s Facebook page.  Dover has done story walks in the past, and Rosie saw a resurgence of the idea during the pandemic.  The format of a story walk works well because it is generally set up outside, where people can be spaced out and enjoy the program without being indoors.  The planned virtual author visit will be a safe alternative to an in-person event, and will allow more people to be able to participate. 
According to Rosie, the Dover Library is in the process of rewriting their mission statement.  Dover has a major focus on building their community and encouraging interaction with the community in their neighborhoods, and building up great authors in Delaware.  By strategically placing the story walk in a local park, that will allow those who can’t make it to the library to still participate.  Rosie would like to see the story walk continue past the summer.  She envisions a story walk around the library where stories would be switched out quarterly.  ​





























Congratulations to the Lewes Public Library!

The Lewes Public Library was awarded $450.00 for their proposal, Teen Essentials.  The Roots and Shoots Club at the Lewes Public Library is a young environmentalist club and will be the group responsible for putting together the Teen Essentials kit.  The club members are constantly looking for ways to give back to the community or help the environment.  The idea for this project started from a conversation with a guidance counselor at the local high school.  The counselor stated that hygiene is a major need for some teens.  The hygiene products can be expensive and many family budgets are strained beyond breaking during the pandemic.  The Roots and Shoots Club will pack the hygiene kits and give to the high school, where school guidance counselors will distribute them discreetly to teens in need. 
I had the opportunity to chat with Emily Ellinger from Lewes on December 30th.  Emily is proud of the teens at Lewes who listened to needs and wanted to get involved and do something about the problem.  While this is a pilot project, Emily hopes the program continues.  She sees the program helping to build leadership skills in the Club participants by asking them in the future to write grant solicitations for hygiene supplies.  According to Emily the project will start immediately.  ​


2020 Grant recipients

2019 Grant recipients

2018 Grant recipients