Over a hundred libraries across the state receive a total of $2M to expand technology

The grants are for libraries in communities with low tax bases and high poverty rates. (Books to Benefits)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – More than one hundred libraries in Illinois are in for a total of $2 million in grants to enhance and expand their technology.

Illinois secretary of state Alexi Giannoulias, the state librarian, announced the grants Thursday at the library in Cicero, which he said is underfunded compared to the library in nearby Oak Park. That’s why the grants are for libraries in communities with low tax bases and high poverty rates.

‘Sixty years ago, in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed an amendment to the Federal Library Services Act. It called for expanding library services, making them more accessible to rural Americans, and the renovation of old libraries and the construction of new ones all across the nation.

“Upon signing the act, President Johnson remarked, ‘Good public libraries should be placed within the reach of all the people. Libraries are for everyone, and therein lies the value.”

U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago), appearing with Giannoulias, noted that the library is a place where many people use the Internet – and all Illinoisans should expect a library that is up-to-date; not one which has not changed anything in fifty or sixty years.

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected].


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