Local libraries in La Salle, Bureau, Putnam and Livingston counties received more than $175,000 in grant money.
In total, the Secretary of State's Office awarded $15.4 million to 638 public libraries statewide for the Fiscal Year 2020 Illinois Public LIbrary Per Capita and Equalization Aid Grants.
Ottawa's Reddick Library received $30,377.50; Streator $17,137; La Salle $12,011.25; Peru $12,868.75; Spring Valley $6,947; Marseilles $6,367.50; Princeton $9,575; Oglesby $5,113.75 and Utica $3,737.50.
“Due to resource disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, our public libraries have never been more important and these funds will help them continue to serve the public with valuable resources,” said Secretary of State Jess White, who also is the state's librarian, in a press statement. “Libraries have remained committed by providing drive-up WiFi access, significantly increasing the use of eBook collections and implementing curbside services.”
Some of the services public libraries provide with the grant money include the following:
• Expand WiFi access to include drive-up accessibility
• Access to curbside services
• Large print material for patrons
• Books, magazines, newspapers, CDs and DVDs
• Audiobooks and eBooks
• Home visit book delivery service
• New computers, iPads and printers
• Spanish and dual language materials
• Expanded access to online resources
• Adult programming
• Newsletters, postcards and other promotional materials
Per Capita Grant funding is authorized under Illinois library law for public libraries, which allows resources for expenses, such as materials, personnel, equipment, electronic access, telecommunications and technology. Equalization Aid Grants help qualifying public libraries with a low library tax base ensuring a minimum level of funding for library services.
La Salle: $12,011.25
Spring Valley: $6,947