Walmart Grant Helps Illinois Libraries with 21st Century Technology

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 www.illshareit.com. 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 IHLS 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