modern bright library stacks
Children's Nook | Sundown Public Library

Lessons Learned from Past Grantees

What one word describes the Tocker Foundation?
A catalyst.

Grants are like gifts, and if you're fortunate, you might receive one that acts as a catalyst. In such cases, other individuals and groups, who are your emotional and financial partners, get involved, and the project expands beyond expectations. That's exactly what the Tocker Grant achieved for the Friench Simpson Memorial Library in Hallettsville.

Making the most of our grant

After achieving our first goal of receiving the Tocker Grant, our library staff aimed to leverage the grant to build local partnerships. These partners not only supported the grant goals but also invested in additional projects that complemented the overall initiative. The collaboration between the Tocker Foundation, library staff, Library Board, and Friends of the Library became a reality.

Enhancements galore

The Library Board contributed endowment funds for interior improvements like painting, new laminate counters, and creating a large storage closet in our meeting room. Our Friends group purchased shelving, kiosks for OPAC computers, a display wall track system, a library ladder, and a large flat-screen TV with a wall mount.

Consider DIY projects

The library staff also took on projects to enhance the interior, including stripping layers of paint off concrete counters to create laptop computer bars. Working with a vendor, they designed unique library signage, and talented individuals crafted stained glass signage and wall art displayed throughout the library.

Support that fueled success

Throughout the project, our staff aimed to be exemplary stewards of the funds entrusted by the Tocker Foundation. We appreciate the foundation's flexibility in allowing us to work with multiple vendors. By serving as our own contractor, we carefully compared options and, as a result, exceeded our original plan and completed the project under budget. Thank you to the Tocker Foundation for this opportunity.

committee reviewing fabric and paint swatches
Allen Memorial reviews fabric swatches.
library remodel design consultation
Olton Library consults with designer.
design consultant and librarian review furniture and swatches for remodel
Burkburnett Library design consult.

My best advice when pursing a Tocker grant

Have a growth mindset

Apply for the Tocker Grant and believe in the impact your library can have on the community. Embrace the philosophy of thinking outside the box, a mindset instilled by talented librarians that transformed our library and staff permanently.

Build partnerships

Understand that receiving the grant is just the beginning. Cultivate partnerships in line with the grant's objectives.

Seek value and longevity

When working on projects, collaborate with multiple vendors. Compare products, make calls, send emails, request samples, and ask questions to find the best product for the price, rather than just the cheapest option.

Embrace your community

Encourage local talent to contribute, making your library unique.

Effective grant management

Maintain thorough records, submit reports on time, and reach out to the foundation with any questions. This approach ensures a successful and well-managed grant experience.

Ready to transform your library?

Start the conversation with Foundation team today.