The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man. – T.S. Eliot
A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen instead. —Caitlin Moran
The Pat Morris
We are delighted to unveil the Pat Morris Communities Matter Initiative. Honoring the late Pat Morris, this new initiative celebrates her love of ideas and learning and the dialectic and tutelage that emerges between reading and living. Her commitment to service and community creation, have inspired us to focus the Communities Matter initiative toward supporting what we believe is the life-force of small communities: libraries. Through their collections, programming, and dedicated people, libraries in small communities bring people together to learn, to reflect, to imagine, and to connect. They allow us to grow in ways un-imagined and provide refuge in times of need. They open the door to the world of ideas, allowing us to converse with history and debate our future. They support our dreams, open our minds, and give us strength with which to venture into the world.
It is with humility and gratitude to all that libraries offer communities, that we dedicate this initiative to helping support their programming, extend their collections or support their outreach.
A Showcase of Recipients
Siglunes District Library “Future Writers of History” project is an initiative to develop not only an interest in local history but an interest also in the expansion and preservation of its current written records. The Library will feature local authors and show and inspire another generation to tell the stories of themselves, their children, and […]
The Shellbrook Public Library “Summer Reading club” encourages reading, language, art and community. THe Pat Morris Communities Matter Grant will be used to expand and enhance the current Reading Club to include preschool children, families, and teens. It will also diversify programming beyond books, providing opportunities for art, drama and music. In addition, new acquisitions […]
The Nanoose Library Centre on Vancouver Island will be developing its collection of books by Canadian authors and those with rich Canadian content. Oh Canada!
The Mackenzie Library will further invigorate its partnership with the local public health unit. The health unit currently lends book bags filled with ten picture books and board books appropriate for infants and children up to age one. As incentive for the program, parents receive free, one new book every time they return a book […]
The Carstairs Public Library will be diversifying and further developing its collection through the addition of new print/dvd materials targeted to diversifying its collections to support materials acquisitions dedicated to men, LGBTQ+, minority perspectives and Indigenous knowledge. So important to have materials appealing to all members of our distinct and diverse communities.
The Asphodel-Norwood Public Library in Ontario plans to create a “Teen Makerspace” and provide youth from its small, rural community with the ability to explore a variety of tools and equipment to foster their creativity, inspire collaboration, support their education, and develop relevant skills. Not only is it the Library’s goal to provide programming which […]
Stettler Public Library is creating a small collection of early development and cognitive care grab and go kits aimed towards two target audiences: parents of young children (including children with autistic spectrum disorders) and caregivers of adults in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia. The kits will pair books with equipment, […]
The Lakeland Regional Library will use its’ Pat Morris Communities Matter grant to stay responsive to its changing community. The grant will be directed towards we increasing its Large Print and Audio collections as well as adding books in Tagalog for its children’s section to support the growing number of residents with Filipino origins or connections.
In response to the seniors in their community, the Hemmingford Community Library has created an exciting new program to engage seniors, unleash their creativity and connect them with other generations. The “Seniors Write Stories for Children” initiative will provide seniors with lessons on children’s story writing and will then mentor them to write their own […]
The Tofield Municipal Library will develop a physical collection of materials for mental health awareness. This collection will include resources on wellness, suicide, stress,compassion, and grief. The collection will include materials for all ages and reading levels. In addition, the Library will host a series of speaker presentations (once the collection is in place) to […]
The Augusta Township Public Library will improve access to materials and technology for its senior residents, many of whom face challenges with limited income, declining vision and social isolation. The grant will help the library improve its large print collection and provide programming to introduce seniors to devices such as tablets and e-readers, or improve […]
The Didsbury Public Library will offer a family friendly Reading with Royalty program with the aim of increasing LGBTQIA awareness and celebrating inclusion and diversity. In partnership with Calgary Pride and the Calgary Queer Arts Society, the Library will host a family-friendly story time program, led by drag queen/king performers. This program helps children develop […]
The Erickson District Library (Erickson, Manitoba) have created an amazing Creative Hands Create Community project which brings an Artist in Residence into the library on a weekly basis to deliver arts and crafts programming for children. The craft projects will use a combination of purchased and nature-found objects to stimulate the creative imagination.
With no close access to music stores, the Lac La Biche Library will develop a Musical Instrument Lending Library to allow community members to borrow an instrument and bring music into their life. The new library will feature a wide range of instruments ranging from violins to xylophones, guitars to keyboards. We can’t wait to hear […]
Ensuring that reading and library collections remain accessible to all in their community, especially seniors, the Athens Public Library program – A Place for All – will see the addition of new large print and audio materials to their collections.
The Tisdale Community Library will be delivering the amazing “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” program. The free early literacy program encourages parents and caregivers to read 1000 books with their children before they start kindergarten. Through this program the Library wants to expose our children to a variety of stories and vocabulary to open their minds […]
Any small Canadian community library serving a population of 10,000 or less that is registered as a “Qualified Donee” under the Canada Revenue Agency is eligible to apply.
Applications for funding will be considered twice annually:
Spring Deadline: February 15
Fall Deadline: October 15
Decisions will be announced one month following the application deadline.
Grant requests (typically of no greater than $10,000) will be considered for one or more of the following:
All grant requests must be submitted using the grant application form available on this site.