McLeansboro Times-Leader


August 6, 2010

Dahlgren library receives $5,200 grant

DAHLGREN — This Hamilton County village’s all-volunteer public library got a big boost recently from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The foundation approved a $5,200 grant to Dahlgren Public Library which allowed the library to buy and install two new computers for its patrons’ use, volunteer librarian Judi Cockrum said.

The computers have been in service since June 30.

“I think it’s a great thing for a library that cannot afford to purchase very many books or computers or anything,” Cockrum said of the grant.

The new computers “are faster and they are wireless,” Cockrum said.

With wireless capabilities at the Dahlgren library, patrons can also bring in their own laptop computers to use the Internet or to print from the library’s printer, she said.

It had been about 10 years since the Dahlgren library had new computers; those were also purchased with a Gates grant, Cockrum said.

The two-phase grant “allowed us not only to purchase but to support the computers,” she said. “If we need to have them repaired, we can do that.”

The grant also allows for software purchases, she added.

Dahlgren has operated a public library since 1983 after starting out five years earlier with a “reading center” through the Shawnee Library System, Cockrum said.

“Shawnee provided us with the books; we just had to have someone here to keep it open,” she said of the facility’s days as a reading center.

Five people currently volunteer at the library, she said.

One requirement of the grant was that the library provide matching funds, which it did through “book sales and donations from the village,” Cockrum said.

“Our community has been very, very helpful,” she said.

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