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Jefferson Regional Library Receives Gates Grant : 3.11.09

[ 0 ] March 11, 2009 |

Regional Library Receives Gates Grant

Jefferson-Madison Regional Library is the recipient of a $49,400 gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to purchase new public access computers for area libraries. The gift is part of the Foundation’s “Opportunity Online Hardware Grants” program.

A primary goal of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is to help public libraries permanently sustain free access to computers and the Internet for people who need it the most. According to a statement from the Foundation, “We believe helping libraries support high quality technology services is one of the best ways to ensure all people—regardless of their economic status, level of education, or where they live—have equal access to opportunity, information, and learning.” As the nation continues to experience a downturn in the economy, libraries are providing the tools needed to help Americans get back on their feet. Computers are heavily used by patrons searching and applying for jobs. The computers will be purchased and installed within the next six months.

Jefferson-Madison Regional Library is one of the most heavily used public libraries for its size in the United States. Fiscal year 2008 was the busiest year ever with Library visits up 30% from the previous year and computer use up 24%. The library serves Albemarle, Charlottesville, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson.

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