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Learn about Ready to Read

What is the Ready to Read grant program?

The Ready to Read grant program is how state funding is distributed to legally established public libraries in Oregon. The purpose of the grant is for libraries to establish, develop, and improve early literacy services for children 0-6 years old and the statewide summer reading program for youth 0-14 years old. Research shows that early learning and summer enrichment activities have a significant impact on the achievement gap. Library early literacy services and summer reading activities support the state of Oregon’s education priorities and initiatives.

Who is eligible to apply?

Legally established public libraries as defined by Oregon Revised Statutes 357.400 –357.430.

How much money can libraries apply for?

The State Library uses a formula based on Oregon Revised Statute 357.780 and Oregon Administrative Rules543-040-0020 and 543-040-0023 to calculate how much each library may apply for every year. Libraries apply for the exact amount calculated by the State Library, no more or less. The funding formula is weighted, 80% on population and 20% on square miles, to address geographically underserved communities in Oregon. There is a minimum grant of $1,000 for libraries in the smallest communities. The grant amount changes every year based on the state general fund allocation, changes in the number of people each library serves, and changes in the square miles of library service areas.

What is the grant cycle?

  • July: Applications are sent to all eligible libraries and made available on this website
  • August 31: Applications are due
  • October: Award notifications, pending State Library Board approval, are mailed with information about the appeals process
  • October: State Library Board meets to approve or deny grants and decide any appeals
  • December 31: Grant funds distributed
  • January 1-December 31: Libraries implement grant-funded projects
  • December 1: Reports are due

How do libraries appeal their proposed grant award?

In October, all eligible libraries are notified that State Library staff recommend their Ready to Read grant application be accepted or denied by the State Library Board. At that time, libraries are also provided the following information about the appeals process. Any eligible library may appeal the recommended grant award.
Eligible libraries that would like to appeal their recommended Ready to Read grant award must write and send a letter to State Librarian, MaryKay Dahlgreen, within 15 days of receiving the notification of grant recommendations.
The letters should include:
  • The action being appealed,
  • The reason the library believes the proposed action is improper; and
  • The corrective action being requested.
After the State Librarian receives a letter of appeal, State Library staff call the appealing library to invite them to attend the State Library Board meeting in October. Appealing libraries make their case for appeal at that meeting and the State Library Board decides whether or not to grant the appeal.

How do libraries use grant funds?

Read the following documents to learn about the grant-funded projects libraries implemented the last five years. 2016 grant-funded projects are currently being implemented (January 1-December 31, 2016)

What’s the history of the grant?

In 1993, the Oregon Legislature created the Ready to Read grant program. Oregon Revised Statutes 357.740 - 357.780 required the State library to distribute state general funds to legally established public libraries to establish, develop, or improve public library services to youth ages 0-14 and report how they spent the money.
In 2006, the law was revised to focus the Ready to Read grant specifically on early literacy services for young children ages 0-6 and the statewide summer reading program for youth ages 0-14. These changes were based on research that shows the experiences youth have before they start school and later during summer vacation has the greatest impact on the achievement gap.

More questions?

Contact Greta Bergquist at 503-378-2528 or greta.bergquist@state.or.us