Coos Bay Library sign.JPG

The current Coos Bay Public Library sits on Anderson Avenue downtown.

Coos Bay Public Library has been selected as one of 300 libraries to participate in Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an American Library Association initiative that helps library workers better serve their small and rural communities.

The competitive award comes with a $3,000 grant to help increase food security, provide food literacy and mitigate barriers that prevent individuals and families in Coos Bay from being food secure.

“We are so proud to be chosen for this opportunity to work with our community” said Reference Librarian Paul Addis. “This grant will allow our library to get to know our residents better and help us build a happier and healthier community for our citizens by providing more access to healthy food and nutritional learning opportunities.”

As part of the grant, Coos Bay Public Library staff will take an online course in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work. Staff will then host conversations with residents about food security and literacy, using the grant funds to increase access to the Community Cooking with the Co-op program, a collaboration with Coos Head Food Co-op and their Outreach Coordinator Jamar Ruff. Fifty community members will receive $20 vouchers to obtain the ingredients needed to participate in the July and August programs on Zoom. In September, the library will hold two community conversations with participants and community partners to discuss these and other grant-related activities.

Coos County's most recent Community Food Assessment stated that "In terms of nutritional health and eating habits of a community, it is evident that poverty and lack of education are serious contributors to the problem."

If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, contact Paul Addis at paddis@coosbaylibrary.org or (541) 269-1101 x222.

Since 2014, ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative has re-imagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types have utilized free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a space for residents to come together and discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff.

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