Jesse White announces more than $1 Million in Innovative Library E-Book and Collection Development Grants

Funds will provide for all three library systems statewide

Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White announced that more than $1 million in Innovative Library E-Book and Collection Development Grants have been awarded to the three library systems in Illinois.

The grants totaling $1,285,219 will fund two pilot programs aimed at increasing the availability of reading materials for Illinois residents. At the Illinois Library Association conference in Chicago, White presented a ceremonial shared check of $985,219 to the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) and the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) for use over a two-year period to build a sustainable e-book service for their member libraries. The Chicago Public Library (CPL) received a ceremonial check for $300,000 for a two-year Patron Driven Acquisitions (PDA) pilot program.

“I am always pursuing ways in which we can use technology to enhance the experiences of our library patrons,” said White. “These important grants will provide Illinois’ three library systems with the resources they need to fund these innovative projects. Libraries are cornerstones of the community and these pilots programs will ensure that information is accessible to Illinoisans.”

Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon, IHLS Executive Director Leslie Bednar, RAILS Board President Kathy Parker and Executive Director Deirdre Brennan were on hand to accept the checks.

The e-book pilot seeks to build an affordable and sustainable e-book service for patrons. Through the pilot, more than 1,900 IHLS and RAILS member libraries will be able to participate and make e-book services available to their patrons. The grant funding will decrease participation fees for libraries and provide support and training for libraries that choose to make available e-book collections.

The PDA pilot will allow CPL patrons to request newer hard-copy books and other materials the library does not own. Once an item is requested, a purchase is activated and the title is delivered by the vendor, drawing the purchase price from the funding pool. The patron is notified when the item is available.

Funding for the pilot programs was provided by Secretary of State/Illinois State Library state grant funds appropriated by the General Assembly to support library services in Illinois.