Two local libraries and the public will benefit from recently awarded grant funding designed to improve access to information.

Both Fowlerville District Library and the Howell Carnegie District Library were selected by the Library of Michigan to receive Improving Access to Information (IAI) grant funding. The grants support programs designed to increase access by improving literacy, provide broader access to special or historic collections, or improve digital access and inclusion. Howell Library Communications Coordinator Kathleen Murray tells WHMI the library was awarded a $25,000 grant for a project to increase access and awareness of the photo negative/photo collection in the Howell Area Archives by digitizing and cataloging photos and providing access via the web. She says it will be the start of a multi-year project with other outcomes that include increased knowledge of local history; increased awareness of the Archives and its resources; and an increased trained, knowledgeable and confident volunteer base for the Archives.

Meanwhile, the Fowlerville District Library will receive a one-time grant of $15,669 to expand access to e-books through pop-up library Wi-Fi hotspots. The libraries were two of nine statewide selected to receive the grants. State Senator Lana Theis of Brighton Township said it’s great news for both communities and the grants will be a big help to the libraries as they continually work to broaden and improve people’s access to their outstanding services. The Library of Michigan is an agency within the Michigan Department of Education. (JM)