CHICAGO – Thanks to support from State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago), Blue Island Public Library will receive $20,500 in grants toward pandemic recovery.

“Libraries are more than just a place to rent books – they are a resource for people to learn and build community engagement,” Jones said. “A library is often an extension of a classroom, and it is important for our communities to be thoroughly equipped with the resources necessary to teach our children.”

Nearly $6 million in total funded hundreds of libraries across the state, all of which received grants ranging from $5,000 to over $1 million.

Grants were awarded under three categories, including workforce development for projects focused on providing essential resources so job seekers can access employment services and training to build the necessary skills to become job ready.

The second category was for projects focused on restoring services and enhancing digital inclusion efforts focused on circulating internet hotspots, laptops and other devices that support pandemic recovery.

The final category was for projects focused on academic, public, school and special libraries that prioritize health and safety while focusing on restoration of the library’s capacity to operate and offer clean, safe library spaces while preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“The pandemic has put more stress on students, but libraries provide a safe place for them to learn and grow,” Jones said. “I salute the libraries of the 14th District as they bounce back from the devastations of COVID-19, and look forward to the ways they’ll benefit from this funding.”

The full list of libraries who received a grant can be found here.