The Cuba Circulating Library and Fillmore’s Wide Awake Club Library have been selected among 200 libraries to participate in Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries.

The program is an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that helps library workers better serve their small and rural communities.

The competitive award is a $3,000 grant that will help the libraries address community needs.

The Cuba Circulating Library will use the funds to hold a community discussion on the topic of working class poverty in the community.

The Wide Awake Club Library will host a series of discussions centered around the economic revitalization of the community.

“We are so proud to be chosen for this amazing opportunity,” said Cuba Library Director Tina Dalton. “This grant will allow our library to get to know our residents better and help us build a community that has empathy and understanding for each other.”

In the Cuba Library service area, 17% of the population is at or below the national poverty line. This is higher than the national average of 13.1%.

The grant will enable the library to facilitate a community conversation addressing this issue, by hosting a One Book, One Community Read of “Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth,” by Sarah Smarsh.

As part of the grant, Cuba and Fillmore Library staff will take an online course in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today.

“Our hope for these conversations is that we will be able to facilitate the joining of individuals and organizations towards this shared goal of community revitalization,” Fillmore Library Director Roxanne Baker said. “Our community has strengths and resources, and by facilitating conversations about community revitalization, we hope to see those strengths and resources come to the surface. We look forward to facilitating these conversations with our community members and to continue to grow and flourish. We’re excited to join in on the momentum that’s already happening, especially with new businesses opening on Main Street.”

It is anticipated that these conversations will both foster a renewed spirit of collaboration and networking as well as generate ideas and momentum toward actionable steps that will consolidate and activate the energy and creativity currently represented in the individuals that comprise our community.

Those interested in getting involved or taking part in these conversations can contact the Cuba Library at (585) 968-1668 or, or the Wide Awake Club at (585) 567-8301 or

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