NAG is delighted to award the 2023 NAG Public Libraries Project of the Year Grant to Oldham Libraries for their Language Barrier Breakers project.
This work will support vulnerable ethnic minority residents to easily access library resources that develop English Language Skills, promote social integration, and support their wellbeing. The project will receive £5000 to enable them to offer a range of bespoke wordplay, conversation, and craft activities for weekly English and support sessions. The money will support the purchase of infrastructure items like tablets and course materials but also offer broader training and awareness for all staff to ensure everyone feels confident approaching the challenge of language barriers.
The project will be presented to other NAG members at an event in 2024 and will be featured in our Members’ journal Taking Stock to enable sharing and discussion.
About the NAG Grant
This NAG Grant, launched in 2019, aims to enable public libraries to explore a project without requiring a lengthy application process and with the flexibility to cover a range of circumstances. It could be developing a pilot project, or implementing an existing pilot within the service or with a wider audience.
The winner for 2022 was Buckinghamshire Libraries with their Memory Bags project. Their project aimed to reach out and connect with people living with dementia and other conditions and will enable them to create 45 bespoke bags covering a range of topics.
In 2019, our co-chair, Alison Millar explained the motivation behind providing this fund:
“As co-chair I am keen that NAG gives opportunities for public libraries to learn from each other and because of that I am so pleased that NAG are offering this award. While we welcome innovative new projects we are also excited to fund the “what if?” type of project. Have you had something that you have wanted to give a go for a while? Do you have a problem that you would like to try out solutions for? Then this NAG grant is for you. If you are awarded the fund all we need afterwards is for you to share your experiences with other library colleagues.”
We have no set requirements for a project but aspects the panel will consider include the value for money in terms of how many people will this project reach, the long term sustainability after the initial grant funded period, and the level of innovation and whether it will potentially provide a new model or idea for other libraries around the UK to copy or adapt. The more information you can give around these aspects, the higher your project is likely to score.
All applicants for the NAG Grant must be current NAG members. To view the 2023 application process, please download the PDF below with further details and full terms and conditions. It is likely that the 2024 applications process will open in January.