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New technology grants available to public, academic libraries

Get up $1,500 if your project is accepted.

Iowa Library Services will be offering technology grants to public libraries thanks for one-time technology money awarded by the Iowa Legislature this year. IaLS is providing $125,000 in grants to public and academic libraries. The money represents half of the one-time appropriation; the other half will pay for tech upgrades to support IaLS agency needs.

Grant applications are due November and winners will be announced December 2, 2013. IaLS is accepting applications from libraries for grants up to $1,500 per library for projects that use technology to improve the lives of Iowans. The grants provide an opportunity for libraries to create new programs using technology, updates existing infrastructure, or launch new services.

The following are some examples of what the grant money can be used for:

  • Computer hardware/upgrades for public use
  • Laptops/tablets for staff use
  • eBook readers
  • Data projects
  • Flat screen TVs
  • Headsets (enough for all staff and trustees)
  • Video gaming equipment
  • Software (including automation, bookkeeping, reservation systems, office suite, etc.)
  • Digital or video cameras

Part of this project is encouraging libraries to think collaboratively and approach this grant application with an eye toward projects that would be beneficial countywide. For instance:

  • All libraries in a county purchase an assortment of eBook readers, either to check out or to have available for staff to demonstrate to patrons; each library develops a specialty in one or more devices and becomes the county troubleshooter.
  • Start-up money to contract for tech support for all libraries in a county.

State Librarian Mary Wegner said, "It's so great to actually have funding to make technology grants available to libraries. We want this program to be well received by all librarians. Thanks for making this project the best it can be."

Libraries are urged to share this opportunity with your boards, talk amongst your colleagues in the county, and apply to be part of these rare tech grants this fall. The Des Moines and district offices are standing by to answer questions or to help spark ideas. The grant application and more information can be found at

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Annette Wetteland last modified Sep 09, 2013 11:35 AM