My First Books Application for 2015-2016: Available Now

My First Books is a Read to Me program that has been successfully implemented since 1997. Formerly titled "Read to Me First Book," this program strengthens partnerships between public libraries and local schools, preschools, Head Start sites, and child care providers. The program is designed to increase "underserved" children's access to quality print materials and strengthen family reading practices at home.

To learn more about the My First Books program visit http://libraries.idaho.gov/landing/first-book. Only publicly-funded public libraries in Idaho are eligible to apply.

We are now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 program year. 
1) Download and read these Application Guidelines, and confirm that you are eligible to apply.
2) Download the Public Library Application.
3) Collect data and statistics for the Needs Statement in the application. (See Grant Writing Resources on the Read to Me Resources page.)
4) Distribute Community Partner Information sheets to each site with whom you plan to partner.
5) Work with partners to complete application.
6) Submit 4 copies of application and one set of partner forms to ICfL by April 23, 2015, 5:00 pm MST. (Please do not fax application and copies)

The number of children we can serve next year will depend on funding. Participation in the program in previous years does not preclude you from applying, regardless of how many years the library participated. However, applications will be ranked with the following as high priority:

  • Have never participated; who have participated for fewer than three years; have not participated in the past three years.
  • Are partnering with teen parent programs and/or providers who serve preschool children.
  • Can provide library cards to MFB families at no cost or very limited cost. 

If you are partnering with an elementary school that received (or will be receiving in 2015-2016) a school library minigrant, that partner will be ranked as lowest priority. Please encourage your elementary school partners to apply for a minigrant, especially if they have a high rate of children qualifying for free or reduced lunch.

For more information contact Staci Shaw, staci.shaw@libraries.idaho.gov.