Rockford Public Library is awarded a $40,000 Eliminate the Digital Divide Grant
State supports library with technology dollars
In July, Rockford Public Library received a $40,000 grant from the State of Illinois and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for the Eliminate the Digital Divide Grant Program. The goal of the grant program is to increase access to computers, telecommunications technologies, and related training for populations residing in at-risk communities. Under this program, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is authorized to make grants to plan, establish, administer, and expand Community Technology Centers (CTCs) and to support technology access programs.
These funds will help purchase new computer equipment for the Main Library and four branches and are also used to provide free computer training classes for the general public throughout the library system. The CTC programs provide computer access and educational services to individuals, communities, and populations that typically would not otherwise have opportunities to use computer and telecommunications technologies.
“Our computer signups break records every year,” said Frank Novak, Executive Director of Rockford Public Library. “The growth and expansion of technology does not mean people use the library less. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.” Novak contends that as new technologies evolve, people rely on libraries to provide access and training on these new technologies, a fact underscored by the double and sometimes triple digit growth in computer workstation sign-ups and computer class registrations. For more information about the Eliminate the Digital Divide Grant Program, visit www.commerce.state.il.us/dceo.
About the Library
The Rockford Public Library, founded in 1872 as the second library in Illinois, currently has six facilities, including the Main Library and five Branch Libraries. The Rockford Public Library’s mission is to enhance community life and development by informing, educating, entertaining, and providing cultural enrichment to all people of all ages by collecting information to address the diverse interests of our dynamic community.