RAILS has received a grant of $125,000 for e-books through the Illinois Office of the Secretary of State. In early August, we were notified by the Illinois State Library that a portion of the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) grant funds for Illinois libraries would go directly to library systems for the purchase of e-books.
RAILS will purchase e-books and audiobooks for K-12 users for the eRead Illinois shared collection. We will add both recreational and educational materials to supplement the high-demand titles that are the focus of the collection.
The COVID-19 pandemic has sharply increased demand for e-books at RAILS libraries and this demand continues to grow. At area schools, new remote and hybrid learning models have created an urgent need for reading materials that can be accessed remotely. Over 50 schools have joined eRead Illinois since mid-April 2020. Public libraries also face the challenge of providing educational and recreational e-resources for students, as they are not able to access materials in the library in many cases and are spending a lot more time at home. This grant will enable RAILS to meet these very important needs for both library types.
CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act)