Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has awarded $752,835 in “Back to Books” grants to 187 Illinois libraries for fiction and nonfiction books. “It is important that our libraries have access to a diverse collection of books available for knowledge and enjoyment,” said White. “These grants are a great way for libraries to encourage reading and get more people to utilize their local library.” Libraries submitted applications specifying the types of books that were needed. Requests included:


· Building collections in women’s studies and sociology.

· New materials in science, technology, engineering and math(STEM).

· Cultural, geographical and travel books.

· Spanish-language fiction and nonfiction books and audiobooks.

· Large-print books for senior citizens on topics related to retirement such as health, hobbies, finances and technology.

· Biographies and books on local, state, national and world history.

· E-books to support remote learning.

· Award-winning books such as Caldecott and Illinois Reads titles.

· Do-it-yourself projects, hobbies and craftsmanship subjects. Awards ranged from $465 to $4,900 per library and were made possible by federal Library Services and Technology Act funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. (A list of libraries receiving grants is enclosed.)

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