|New York State Library|
(also available for download as a Word document)
[Public Library/branch] Announces Receipt of [Dollar Amount of Grant] ‘Online Opportunity Grant’ From Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
ALBANY, NY - [Public Library/branch] announced that it has been awarded a [dollar amount of grant] ‘Online Opportunity Grant’ from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. [Public library / branch] is one of 421 public libraries in high need communities that will be able to purchase new computers through the $4.1 million grant.
Libraries that will be receiving grants are located in all 62 of New York’s counties. For a list of recipients go to http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/gateslib/hardware/eligible.htm
The grants will be administered through the New York State Library. Libraries are required to provide matching funds to be eligible for the grants. The grant period runs through December 31, 2009.
[Quote from library director here].
Many libraries struggle to keep pace with technology and rapidly increasing community demand for these services. A recent national survey revealed that four out of five public libraries say they do not have enough computers to meet their community’s needs. Sixty percent of libraries report they have no plans to add public computers in the coming year, citing cost and space as major limiting factors. With nearly half of the nation’s public libraries reporting decreased or flat public funding in 2006, inadequate technology services persist in many libraries.
The Opportunity Online hardware grant program is the fourth grant program from the Gates Foundation that enabled the New York State Library to secure funding to help New York‘s public libraries improve computer and Internet services. In 1998, 427 public libraries in New York State received a total of $16.6 million through a State Partnership Grant from Gates to make computer and Internet technology available to those New Yorkers with no other means of access. In 2002, the State Library received a $257,700 grant from the Gates Foundation that expanded upon the State Partnership Grant Program to provide technology training for public library staff. A third grant program entitled Staying Connected Phase I and Phase 2 awarded a total of $516,640 in 2003-2004 to the State Library to help public libraries maintain their public access computing services.