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Nearly $6 million awarded to Illinois libraries, schools for pandemic recovery efforts

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LIBRARY BOOKS

(WSIL) -- Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has awarded nearly $6 million to libraries focused on responding directly to the COVID-19 pandemic by modifying services, transforming spaces and developing resources for their local recovering workforce.

“During the ongoing pandemic, libraries have had to retool their services to match the needs of the community and I am honored to be able to provide funding to allow these libraries to expand access to their patrons,” said White. “I applaud the library community in Illinois for their hard work as they continue to provide essential services during this challenging time.”

A total of $5,740,350 funded 211 academic, school, special and public libraries, all of which received grants ranging from $5,000 to over $1 million. 

Grants were awarded under three categories:

  • Bouncing Back from the Pandemic -- Developing Resources for the Local Workforce: Projects focus on providing essential resources so job seekers can access employment services and training to build the necessary skills to become job ready. Thirty libraries received $730,730.
  • Expanding Digital Inclusion -- Transforming Library Services: Projects focus on restoring services and enhancing digital inclusion efforts focused on circulating internet hotspots, laptops and other devices that support pandemic recovery. Forty-seven libraries received $809,409.
  • On the Road to Recovery: Transforming Library Spaces: Projects focus on academic, public, school and special libraries that prioritize health and safety while focusing on restoration of the library’s capacity to operate and offer clean, safe library spaces while preventing the spread of COVID-19. One hundred thirty-four libraries received a total of $4,200,211.

Here is a list of recipients in southern Illinois:

  • Carbondale, Giant City CCSD 130: $9,243
  • Carrier Mills, Carrier Mills-Stonefort Public Library District: $19,940
  • Carterville, Anne West Lindsey District Library: $24,863
  • Chester Public Library: $8,175
  • DuQuoin Public Library: $10,520
  • Eldorado Memorial Public Library District: $22,303
  • Golconda, Pope County CUSD 1: $29,917
  • Grayville, Groff Memorial Library: $6,500
  • Marion Carnegie Library: $20,286
  • Marion CUSD 2: $24,876
  • Murphysboro, Sallie Logan Public Library: $6,000
  • Pinckneyville Public Library: $7,564
  • Sesser Public Library: $5,484
  • Sparta Public Library: $19,351
  • Tunnel Hill, New Simpson Hill School District 32: $18,000
  • Vienna Public School District 55: $9,869
  • Vienna Township HSD 13-3: $17,766

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Kenzie Dillow joined the team in 2016 as an editor, moved to Producer in 2017 & took over the Digital Content Manager position in 2021. Kenzie graduated from SIUC in 2016 with a degree in Sports Broadcasting and Advertising.

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