Seattle (AP) -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is announcing $6.5 million in grants to help public libraries in 11 states improve the quality of the free computer access they offer.
The money announced Thursday will pay for computer hardware updates at some of the 800 library branches in Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Libraries will need to find matching local dollars to qualify for the Gates Foundation grants.
And library staff will be required to participate in a professional development conference offered by the Public Library Association.
Previous Gates Foundation computer grants were awarded in 2007 and 2008 to libraries in other states.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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