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Public libraries get state $$$

Thirteen public libraries from around Bureau County are among those statewide to receive notification of per capita and equalization aid grants for the 2013 fiscal year.

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White announced the awards, saying 611 public libraries are the recipients of grants totaling $11.9 million, with nearly 12 million patrons served through those libraries.

“I am extremely proud of the outstanding service Illinois’ public libraries provide to our communities,” White said. “Our libraries are the best and most reliable information resource available to citizens, and I am pleased to be able to provide these grants each year.”

Tiskilwa Public Library Director Karyn Stark said Tiskilwa received $1,528 in the per capita and equalization aid grant this year, which is about $4 more than received last year.

A good portion of the annual grant money will be used to buy award-winning books for the children’s department, Stark said. The new purchases will include the Rebecca Caudill books, Monarch Award books, the Newberry books and Caldecott children’s books. Books cost quite a bit of money, and nearly $600 was spent last year to get the new Caudill books, the library director said.

For Tiskilwa, the remainder of the grant money will go to buy large print books for adults, book-based movies, and for special programming.

Looking at the impact of local libraries on their communities, Stark said public libraries are a great resource for their communities, whether in the area of technology, books, magazines, self-help materials or other services

Also, the Tiskilwa Public Library is a safe and comfortable place for people to spend their time, Stark added. When children are out of school, as they were last week for spring break, parents can send their kids to the library and know they will be safe. A lot of elderly people also come to the library.

The library in Tiskilwa is a place where people can talk and laugh and visit, Stark said, adding the library is a welcoming place that is changing with the times to help meet the needs of the people in the community.

Ladd Public Library Director Amy Bosi said her library got $1,631 this year in its per capita and equalization aid grant, which is about $3 more than last year.

This year’s grant money will be used to help fund the annual summer reading program, to buy new books, supplies and crafts for the program. Typically, some of the grant money also goes to obtain special speakers or demonstrations for the summer program, with this year’s special speaker being a juggler.

Previously, the library has used some of the grant money to have someone from the Discovery Center in Rockford come to do some science experiments. Without the grant money, the summer program would have to be scaled back, she said.

As far as the impact of a public library on its community, Bosi said the library is a source of information for people, the first place many people go for the library’s books and computers.

She hopes people see the Ladd Public Library as a comfortable place to come and enjoy themselves, Bosi said. The old-fashioned concept of a library being a very quiet place, with no talking, isn’t that way anymore in Ladd.

Her goal is for children, teens and adults to come to the library to have fun and enjoy themselves while having access to all the resources and information provided at the library.

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