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Initiatives

Giving Tree

Applications are now closed for the 2023 Giving Tree. Check back in November 2024.

If you are interested in gifting this year, ornaments will be available for pickup beginning 11/20/23. All gifts must be returned to the Library unwrapped and in new condition by 12/11/23.

Food Pantry
Thanks to a generous donation from Maplewood United Methodist Church, the Library now has a mini-pantry located on our property. Approximately 15% of Maplewood's 8,000+ residents live below the poverty line. The Library is situated in a prime location to serve these neighbors, and we are proud to be an additional location for one of MapleGOOD's mini-pantries. In addition to the mini-pantry, Library staff have used donations from the community to put together packs for people experiencing homelessness. Packs include snacks, hygiene items, and other miscellaneous supplies. Visitors may pick up a pack from the Library's foyer while supplies last.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts

Local Resources Webpage
By navigating our website in the following way:
About --> Mutual Aid --> Local Resources
website visitors can obtain a list of resources in the St. Louis area for a variety of topics including food pantries, counseling services, and shelter. This page is also directly accessible by going to maplewoodpubliclibrary.org/local-resources.

Period Equity

Approximately 16.9 million people living in poverty in the U.S. menstruate. For some of these people, a menstrual cycle means missing school due to lack of supplies or choosing between food and menstrual products. The ramifications of this affect people mentally, physically, and economically. In an attempt to increase period equity, the Library has period products available in each restroom on site and in some of the packs for people experiencing homelessness. Visitors can view our Local Resources page for information on obtaining additional period products.

Source: Medical News Today

Reference by Mail
Maplewood Public Library has joined other area libraries to provide reference services by mail to incarcerated individuals. Access to information is a basic human right that does not end with incarceration. For those who will be released, it will be our communities they will be re-entering; helping them prepare to rejoin society is beneficial to us all. The benefits and purpose of providing library services to incarcerated individuals are summarized below:

  • Rehabilitation 
  • Reentry preparedness
  • Bibliotherapy, learn coping mechanisms, and other mental health benefits 
  • Educational support
  • Gain basic skills that may reduce chance of reoffending (e.g. job searching, money management)
  • Moral enlightenment
  • Learn or improve basic literacy skills
  • Constructive use of time (i.e. prevent further infractions while incarcerated)

Source: Conrad, S. (2017). Prison Librarianship Policy and Practice

Participation in Mutual Aid Groups
Library staff have committed to being a strong presence in our community and welcome invitations to participate in community groups and initiatives. Please email info@maplewoodpubliclibrary.org if you'd like a Library representative to participate in your mutual aid group. Maplewood Public Library and MapleGOOD won the 2021 Community Partnership Award Presented by the Missouri Library Association for our work in mutual aid in the Maplewood community. See below for the Library's announcement regarding this award:

"We are proud to announce that our work with MapleGood has won this year's Community Partnership Award presented by Missouri Library Association (MLA)!
'The Community Partnership Award, created in 2017, recognizes a Missouri library and one or more community organizations for developing a partnership that benefits members of their shared community.' (http://molib.org/awards/community-partnership-award/)
MapleGOOD is a mutual aid group that was created last year to meet the needs of struggling community members. They invited Maplewood Public Library to join a working group for area stakeholders to combat food and housing insecurity in Maplewood, and since then, Library staff have been working with various MapleGOOD members on a number of initiatives to address community needs and share area resources. During this time, we have learned so much about our community, and we look forward to continuing to work with MapleGOOD on upcoming projects!"
We will be offering curbside-only services beginning June 10. Visit our Library Renovation Project page for details.
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