Public, school libraries receive CARES Act money from state

8 local libraries in La Salle, Bureau and DeKalb counties receive funds for PPE

The Illinois Secretary of State awarded $1,142,645 in CARES Act funding to 292 Illinois libraries, school districts and library systems, including 12 in La Salle, Livingston, Bureau, DeKalb and Putnam counties.

CARES Act funding was provided to the Illinois State Library from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to prevent, prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Illinois libraries, school districts and library systems are receiving CARES Act funding for three purposes:

Personal protective equipment for Illinois public libraries: 218 public libraries received a total of $157,580. To assist libraries in addressing the unforeseen consequences of COVID-19, public library agencies applied for up to $500 per eligible public library building to address the proper handling of library materials and to purchase cleaning and PPE, such as masks and acrylic barriers to ensure the safety of staff and patrons.

The Graves-Hume Library in Mendota, the Ohio Public Library, the Princeton Public Library, the Sandwich Public Library, the Robert Rowe Library in Sheridan, the Somonauk Public Library, the Richard Mautino Library in Spring Valley and the Walnut Public Library each received $500.

Digital network access: 70 school districts and public libraries received a total of $485,065. To assist libraries in addressing the unforeseen consequences of COVID-19, public libraries, school libraries and community colleges applied for up to $10,000 to establish or expand their digital network access.

Students displaced by COVID-19 and disadvantaged library patrons may not have reliable internet options to connect to remote learning or to access online library services and information. The state library anticipates that distance education will be an ongoing need in the coming academic year. It also is expected that virtual networking, working remotely and requests for discovering information online may continue to increase.

The Flanagan-Cornell Unit District received $10,000, the Ohio Community Unit District received $6,169, the Ohio High School District received $2,400 and the Spring Valley Hall High School District received $5,181.

E-books: Four agencies received a total of $500,000. During the pandemic, patron registrations for e-book access increased significantly. None of them were local.