$3,000 Grant Will Help the Library Work with Residents in Reviving the Community

Cattaraugus — The Cattaraugus Free Library has been selected as one of 200 libraries to participate in Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that helps library workers better serve their small and rural communities. The competitive award comes with a $3,000 grant that will help the library focus on a community engagement project in hopes of reenergizing the Village of Cattaraugus.

“We are honored to be chosen for this amazing opportunity,” said Library Director Lori Antholzner. “This grant will allow our library to start a much needed discussion on what can be done to revitalize the beautiful Village of Cattaraugus. Every successful endeavor starts with a great conversation and we are thrilled to be a part of this project.”

As part of the grant, the Cattaraugus Free Library staff will take an online course in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff will then host an outdoor conversation in late spring with residents to discuss what they feel is vital to the community. The grant funds will cover the expenses of the project including printing, postage and research hours.

“Over the past few years, residents have witnessed many businesses and factories leave the village, including the only grocery store, gas station and pharmacy. What can be done to lure such things back to our community?” If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, please contact Lori Antholzner at 716-257-9500, or visit for more information.

More than 300 libraries applied for the grant, according to ALA.

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.

“Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).”

The Cattaraugus Free Library Receives National Grant for Small and Rural Libraries