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PLEASANTON, Calif. — The City of Pleasanton has been awarded three separate grants, which will support the Pleasanton Library’s efforts to expand access to in-demand services and introduce new programs to engage underserved communities. Each of these grants will serve to advance the City’s ONE Pleasanton Strategic Plan goal of Building a Community Where Everyone Belongs by increasing equitable access to City programs and services. Pleasanton’s City Council, by resolution, accepted the three grant awards during its November 7 meeting.

The City received $11,915 from the Pacific Library Partnership (PLP) for the creation of a Memory Kit collection to serve the cognitive needs of senior adults. The City was also awarded $104,847 in two separate grants from the California State Library. These include grants for Adult Literacy Services in the amount of $43,776 and English-as-a-Second-Language Services in the amount of $61,071.

Entitled Memory Kits for Adults and their Caregivers, the City’s latest grant funding from PLP will help establish an innovative new service supporting cognitive needs, particularly for seniors. Memory Kits serve as tools that can be used independently or with caregivers and families, which provide stimulating activities designed to help older adults recall memories and engage in meaningful conversations about their life experiences. Each kit contains several assorted activities with a common theme — often including conversation cards, games and puzzles, and sensory items. The Library also plans to offer “Decades” kits, which will include music — and listening devices — from various decades, as well as books with news and culture from different eras.

The City, through its Library and Recreation Department, operates an immensely wide spectrum of services that span all age groups and stages of life. The department takes great efforts to ensure these programs and services uphold its commitment to inclusion and reflect the diverse needs of the community. Owing to recent assessments, Library staff identified older adults — particularly those with cognitive needs — as a community group that’s underserved by existing library services.
The Pleasanton Library endeavors to expand its number of programs and services designed to meet the unique needs of the community’s senior population. In conjunction with the Memory Kit collection, Library staff are exploring opportunities for seniors to connect while using the kits during memory groups at the Pleasanton Senior Center, and provide a chance to meet new friends at the Memory Café series at the library on weekends — a time when the Senior Center is closed.

“The collaborative efforts of our library and senior center enable us to leverage our collective resources, as well as each area’s unique expertise, to amplify the impact of our services,” said Heidi Murphy, Director of the City of Pleasanton Library and Recreation Department. “In line with our City’s commitment to inclusion, we value the importance of fostering connections among community members. These memory kits and programs have the power to serve as catalysts for meaningful connections between seniors, and their family members and caregivers.”

The two grants awarded by the California State Library will deliver crucial ongoing support for Adult Literacy Services and facilitate an expansion of ESL Services to more individuals. The Pleasanton Library has been providing literacy services to adult learners since 1985; and since 2006, it has received California Library Literacy Services (CLLS) funding from the California State Library. The library provides learners and tutors with all necessary supplies, materials, and resources, plus meeting space for program participants.

In the last fiscal year, CLLS awarded the City with a new supplemental grant to build ESL services. The grants served a combined total of 291 adult English-language learners and 126 volunteer tutors, which represented a 300% rise in the number of learners served. Learner feedback indicates that these opportunities fill critical needs that include speaking English and language fluency, building community connections and utilizing unique supports not found elsewhere in the community such as Wi-Fi, computers, printing, books and materials, and library programs.

“With this investment in adult literacy and ESL services, we take a meaningful step towards building a more inclusive community,” Murphy added. “The support of these grants helps provide individuals with the opportunity to develop the skills needed to engage fully in our community.”

Individuals who are interested in learning more about the Pleasanton Library’s Adult Literacy and ESL Services can reach staff at or (925) 931-3405.

The Pleasanton Library’s Adult Literacy and ESL Services are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library.
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