The Robert Bowne Foundation and Library Development in Out-of-School Time Programs

In 2002-2003, the Robert Bowne Foundation (RBF) officially launched its “Library Development Initiative.” The project aimed to: “increase children’s access to high-quality reading materials” as well as to “create, implement and promote library programs appropriate for the agency and the developmental needs and interests of the children and young people who attend the program.”

Participants received library-development workshops for program staff, individualized program support, and the Foundation’s online Page Turners e-Newsletter of Library Support.

In 2005, RBF re-named the grants the Julia Palmer Award for Library Development Grants to honor Palmer, both an early advisor and champion of children’s literacy. Support for Julia Palmer grantees evolved over time into a series of in-person and online seminars.

From 2010-2015, the RBF’s Anne Lawrence worked in partnership with Suzanne Marten of the Center for Educational Options (CEO), offering grantees an annual nine-month-long Julia Palmer Library Development and Literacy Support Project Seminar. In addition, grantees received financial support for the afterschool program’s library; a mix of in-person and virtual professional development sessions for two staff members from each participating program, including two sessions — an orientation and final celebration — also attended by program directors; an additional session designed specifically for program directors; and individualized, on-site, program support.

Participating agency staff were required to:

  • Articulate an action research question to guide its library development activities;
  • Conduct a survey to identify the library needs of its constituencies.
  • Engage with an ongoing cohort of participating program grantees with similar action research questions; and
  • Explore, as a full group, a variety of approaches to reading and writing, and discuss the implications of activities for their programs.

Participants reported that their involvement in the Seminar’s professional learning community stimulated their visions about libraries as well as supported their abilities to transform their program libraries, create engaging literacy activities and develop and support organizational cultures.

A learning community was created among participants through:

  • Trust building
  • Exploration and learning among and across participants; and
  • Thinking together about ways to apply their new skills and knowledge to their own program.


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Youth Today's ISSN: 10896724
Our XML website site map:

Recent Comments



Logo Grant professional Association Business Alliance
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2019 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
1200 Chastain Rd, MD 00310, Chastain Pointe Bldg 300, Suite 310, Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591

To Top
[os-widget path="/youthtoday/able-youth-today-newsletter-survey"]