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Information on Gates Foundation Opportunity Online Hardware Grants - 2009

This latest and last round of hardware grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has arrived in Nebraska and focuses on sustaining library technology services. To emphasize the need for ongoing local funding to update computer hardware, the two-phase grant requires matching funds for the hardware component while providing free advocacy training to help libraries raise those funds.

The two-year Opportunity Online hardware grants program will provide funding to replace, and in some cases add, public computer workstations in libraries, as well as for associated training and tech support. The program is focused on helping libraries serving populations most in need and which are vulnerable to having their technology services become obsolete.

Since 80 percent of library funding comes from local sources, libraries eligible for the Opportunity Online hardware grant program are required to match the Gates Foundation funds with local dollars to demonstrate community support for maintaining computer upgrades and to show they can sustain investments in technology access in the future. The Gates Foundation also covers all travel expenses for library staff participating in the grant program to attend Turning the Page: Building Your Library Community, a professional development conference offered by the Public Library Association that helps strengthen the skills and confidence library professionals need to increase awareness of the library's value and motivate local support.

The Gates Foundation awarded funding for the purchase of 122 computers to Nebraska libraries, valued at $317,200.00.

The Nebraska Library Commission is acting as the intermediary on behalf of the Foundation for this grant and will be verifying completion of requirements and dispersing the funds. If you have any questions about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Opportunity Online Hardware Grants, please contact Christa Burns, 800-307-2665, or 402-471-3107 or Devra Dragos, 800-307-2665, or 402-471-4335.  

The following 37 Nebraska libraries have qualified and are participating in the Opportunity Online hardware grant:

Town  Library Name  Total
Number of
Ainsworth Ainsworth Public Library 4
Alliance Alliance Public Library 4
Arthur Arthur County Library 2
Beaver City Beaver City Public Library 3
Benkelman Dundy County Library 3
Bloomfield Bloomfield Public Library 2
Bruning Bruning Public Library 3
Burwell Garfield County Library 2
Callaway Nigel Sprouse Memorial Library 2
Cambridge Butler Memorial Library 3
Crofton Eastern Township Library 3
Curtis Klyte Burt Memorial Library 2
Franklin Franklin Public Library 2
Gordon Gordon City Library 2
Hastings Hastings Public Library 5
Hayes Center Hayes Center Public Library 2
Hyannis Grant County Library 2
Kimball Kimball Public Library 3
Lexington Lexington Public Library 3
Lincoln Lincoln City Libraries  
  Bennett Martin 8
  South  8
Madison Madison Public Library 4
Merna Brenizer Public Library 2
Milford Webermeier Memorial Library 3
Nelson Nelson Public Library 3
Niobrara Niobrara Public Library 3
North Loup North Loup Public Library 3
Oconto Oconto Public Library 2
O'Neill O'Neill Public Library 3
Orchard Orchard Public Library 2
Pawnee City Pawnee City Carnegie Public Library 2
Plainview Plainview Carnegie Library 2
Rushville Rushville Public Library 2
Sargent Sargent Township Library 2
Schuyler Schuyler Public Library 6
South Sioux City South Sioux City Public Library 10
Superior Superior Public Library 3
Wolbach Wolbach Public Library 2
  Total 122