Calling All School Librarians: BBF Shelf Help Applications Now Open

Do you know a school library in need? We are very excited to announce that this year’s Shelf Help School Partnership Grant application is now open!

Many area schools lack the resources to fully stock their school libraries with contemporary, high-quality books. BBF’s Shelf Help Program aims to change that.

Our competitive grant program provides two winning school libraries (one K-8 and one 9-12) with new, locally relevant books to expand and update their collections. In addition, each school will have a memorable visit by an author or illustrator curated by Wondermore, a local organization dedicated to inspiring young readers.

Last year’s winners, the Rafael Hernández K-8 Dual Language School in Roxbury and the English High School, were treated to virtual visits by award-winning authors Juana Medina and Jerry Craft, respectively. Dave Barry, librarian at English had this to say after receiving the award, “To have Newbery and Coretta Scott King award winner Jerry Craft visit us in October will be a joy and a fantastic way to get everyone talking about reading.”

If you know a library professional at a school that needs some Shelf Help, please forward them this Request for Proposals, which has links to an online application. Applications will be open until May 31, 2021.


  •       A school with a dedicated library space
  •       A school located within Greater Boston
  •       A school with a dedicated library professional (paid or volunteer)
  •       A school that has shelf space for at least 50 new books
  •       A school that has the capacity to host an author/illustrator visit or the capacity to collaborate on an online event (coordinated by the Boston Book Festival and Wondermore)

Read more about the English High School’s Shelf Help grant and how librarian Dave Barry planned to get students “jazzed” about reading.

Read about how the Hernández School emptied its shelves during the pandemic and how Shelf Help worked to restock them.

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