Illinois State Library Awards IHLS $125K for E-Resource Purchases

Published 11/23/2020 5:42 PM CT, updated 12/9/2020 11:06 PM CT

photo of ebook reader and a stack of booksState Library Awards IHLS $125K for E-Resource Purchases for Members 

Great news! The Illinois Secretary of State (IL SOS)/Illinois State Library (ISL) awarded Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) $125,000 for the purchase of e-resources for members. The grant funds will allow IHLS to purchase ebooks and e-audiobooks for users of the SHARE cloudLibrary, one of the largest and most heavily utilized digital collections in the state. 

Users of eRead's Axis 360 will also have access to new resources thanks to parallel funding from the State Library awarded to Reaching Across Illinois Library System. Both grants were provided by the Illinois Secretary of State/Illinois State Library using funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) disbursed by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, an extension of the Library Services and Technology Act program, with the intent for funds to go directly to library systems for the purchase of ebooks.

Additionally, as a supplement to this grant, IHLS is offering mini-grants to public libraries that do not currently offer e-resources. The grant will pay for a membership to either Axis 360 or cloudLibrary for the remainder of the fiscal year, and the only requirement is that this service must be advertised to patrons. Qualifying libraries have already been sent information regarding the mini-grants. 

 

Additions to the cloudLibrary Collection

Funding for e-resources for the cloudLibrary will be used to purchase juvenile and young adult titles, with emphasis on educational items and classroom support materials. Supporting our youngest patrons helps create lifelong users that see their library as the first stop for information and resources.  In addition, we will focus on selecting works by diverse authors (culturally diverse, religiously diverse, LBTQIA+ diverse, ability diverse). This allows more readers to see themselves reflected in the items that are available and to learn more about those with experiences different from their own. 

In late January, before the pandemic hit central and southern Illinois, SHARE reviewed the status of its digital resources and found that there were significant gaps in its cloudLibrary collection. Specifically, group spending for youth services was in decline, and this was reflected via a reduction in use. This was already an area SHARE staff was working to remedy. However, when COVID-19 disrupted the classroom, there was increased urgency to provide materials for students. The grant funds will help address these gaps and support digital library services for teachers, librarians, and students. 

How SHARE Members Can Add Patron Access to E-Resource Access with cloudLibrary 

With the increased need for e-resources, more and more public, school, academic, and special libraries are subscribing to SHARE’s cloudLibrary. Since March, 38 new libraries have subscribed, contributing to a total of 244 participating libraries.  

If you are a SHARE consortium member and would like to learn more about accessing cloudLibrary e-resources for your patrons, please visit the Group Purchases page on the SHARE website. For a school or district with 999 or fewer students, the price is just $275 a year to add access for your students!  

If you are not a SHARE member and would like more information about the SHARE consortium, please contact SHARE Director Cassandra Thompson.  

 

Axis 360 Collection Additions 

For standalone school libraries and public libraries, eRead will be purchasing e-books and audiobooks for K-12 users for the eRead Illinois shared collection, available to all libraries statewide. With the grant funding, eRead will add both recreational and educational materials to supplement the high-demand titles that are the focus of the collection. 

How School Libraries, Standalone Libraries, and Others Can Add Patron Access to E-Resources with Axis 360 

As more and more schools move to remote and hybrid learning models, the urgent need for home-access reading materials by schools and public libraries has greatly risen. RAILS’ grant will enable school and public libraries across the state to meet these important needs. 

If you would like to learn more about accessing additional resources for your school-age patrons and teachers, learn more at eReadillinois.comPrices start at just $250.