Walmart Grant Helps Illinois Libraries with 21st Century Technology

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Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) received a generous Walmart State Giving grant to assist bringing 21st century technology to small rural libraries in central and southern Illinois. Libraries were selected to participate in this program based on their membership in IHLS, population, and the amount of their income from property taxes and grants.

As the end of the grant period nears, the impact of the grant can be announced. Forty-five small public libraries were able to utilize Walmart grant funds to improve technology for their staff and patrons. Each of these public libraries have now met the four goals established by the Illinois State Library for libraries—to participate in resource sharing, to have a discoverable collection, to have a web presence, and to have wifi access for their patrons at the library.

Seven libraries were able to take advantage of Walmart grant funds to join SHARE, the local library automation consortium that allows libraries to pool their resources to assist each other. The patrons of the Jonesboro Public Library, Mounds Public Library, Ramsey Public Library, South County Public Library (Brussels), Tilden Public Library, West Union Public Library, and Zeigler Public Library will be able to request and borrow items from the collection of almost ten million items owned by the SHARE member libraries, by visiting their library or requesting those items online at Items—and they could be books, DVDs, music cd’s, learning kits, audiobooks, or even cake pans—are delivered to the patron’s local library via the IHLS delivery program for checkout.

Other uses of the Walmart grant funds have been to improve wifi access; to join the CloudLibrary consortium, allowing the participating libraries’ patrons access to ebooks and eaudiobooks; improving library websites; to purchase needed equipment, such as barcode scanners, document scanners, copiers; and many ebooks.

The patrons and staff of the 45 libraries and the staff of Illinois Heartland Library System want to publicly offer our thanks and appreciation to the Walmart Foundation for their generosity and support of libraries!

Participating libraries are:

  • Ashley Public Library District
  • Athens Municipal Library
  • Chrisman Public Library
  • Christopher Public Library
  • Clifton Public Library
  • Coulterville Public Library
  • Dongola Public Library District
  • Doyle Public Library District
  • Dry Point Township Library
  • Elwood Township Carnegie Library
  • Frank Bertetti Benld Public Library
  • Georgetown Public Library
  • Gillespie Public Library
  • Girard Township Library
  • Golconda Public Library
  • Greenfield Public Library
  • Herrick Township Public Library
  • Jonesboro Public Library
  • Kansas Community Memorial Library
  • Kinmundy Public Library
  • Kitchell Memorial Library
  • McCoy Memorial Library
  • Mounds Public Library
  • Mount Olive Public Library
  • Ogden Rose Public Library
  • Patoka Public Library
  • Piper City Public Library District
  • Ramsey Public Library
  • Roodhouse Public Library
  • Rosiclare Memorial Public Library
  • Royalton Public Library District
  • Sesser Public Library
  • Shawneetown Public Library
  • Sidney Community Library
  • South County Public Library District
  • Stonington Township Public Library
  • Sumpter Township Library
  • Tilden Public Library
  • Vance Township Library
  • Vienna Carnegie Public Library
  • Wayne City Kissner Public Library
  • West Salem Public Library
  • West Union District Library
  • Worden Public Library District
  • Zeigler Public Library