Transforming School Library Practice in Small Schools

WebJunction /

OCLC is serving as a mentor organization for a second cohort of five small, rural U.S. school libraries that are participating in the Institute of Museum and Library Service's (IMLS) Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries (APP) initiative. The mentorship, which began in September 2020, is scheduled to span over two years. OCLC is also continuing to mentor a first APP cohort of ten school libraries that initiated in September 2019.   

As a mentor organization, OCLC is supporting each cohort with a facilitated community of practice hosted by WebJunction, three multi-day convenings (in-person or virtual), training, technical assistance, and coaching as the grantees transform their school library’s practice to better serve their communities. Individual grantee projects are redesigning their libraries for 21st-century learning, advancing staff skills, strengthening partnerships with stakeholders, and enhancing programs and services that will prepare their students for success.

OCLC is using a discovery process to “meet grantees where they are” and support both individual and cohort needs as they strengthen the role of their libraries as dynamic learning centers.

Participating school libraries

For more information about the participating school libraries and their projects, see Transforming School Library Practice Grantees.

Round 2 school library grantees:

  • Brooklyn Center Community School District, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
  • CeDin Laboratory School, Marginal Avenida Lomas Verdes, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Hominy Public Schools, Hominy, Oklahoma
  • North Middle School, Great Falls, Montana
  • Wahluke High School, Mattawa, Washington

Round 1 school library grantees:

  • Aurora Public School East Side District #131, Aurora, Illinois
  • Fort Benton Schools School District 1, Benton, Montana
  • Freedom Public School, Freedom, Oklahoma
  • Hillsboro-Deering School District, Hillsborough, New Hampshire
  • Laurens County School District 55, Laurens, South Carolina
  • Milford Central School District, Milford, New York
  • Orleans Central Supervisory Union, Barton, Vermont
  • Osage Hills Public School District (Osage County Interlocal Cooperative), Bartlesville, Oklahoma
  • Regional School Unit 63, Holden, Maine
  • Worcester County Public Schools (Board of Education of Worcester County), Newark, Maryland

OCLC is one of three mentor organizations selected to support the IMLS APP initiative; Wisconsin Library Services and Kansas City Public Library are also serving as mentor organizations in separate grant categories.

For the IMLS press release announcing the first round of the APP initiative, click here.

December 2021 Update: OCLC’s mentorship of K-12 school libraries: reflections on transforming their practice

The APP Transforming School Library Practice Mentorship Program is made possible by support from OCLC and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (project number LG-00-19-0289-19).