SPRINGFIELD - 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.

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“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.

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