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Gates grants to help libraries provide computer access

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is announcing $6.5 million in grants to help public libraries in Minnesota and 10 other 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.

The eligible libraries in Minnesota are (by county):

Aitkin County

Aitkin Public Library

  Anoka County 

Columbia Heights Public Library

Fridley: Mississippi Branch Library

  Beltrami County

Blackduck Public Library

  Big Stone County

Graceville Public Library

Ortonville Public Library

  Cass County  

Cass Lake Community Library

Longville: Margaret Welch Memorial Library

Pine River Public Library

Walker Public Library

  Chippewa County

Milan Public Library

Montevideo: Chippewa County Public Library

  Clearwater County

Bagley Public Library

  Dakota County

South Saint Paul Public Library

  Fillmore County

Harmony Public Library

  Kandiyohi County

Willmar Public Library

  Mahnomen County

Mahnomen Public Library

  Martin County

Fairmont (Central)

  Morrison County

Little Falls Public Library

Pierz Branch Library

Swanville Branch Library

  Nobles County

  Adrian Library

  Otter Tail County

Perham Area Public Library

  Pine County

Hinckley Public Library

Pine City Public Library

  Ramsey County

Arlington Hills Branch Library

Hamline Midway Branch Library

Hayden Heights Branch Library

Rice Street Branch Library

West 7th Street Popular Library

  Stearns County

Belgrade: Myrtle Mabee Library

Waite Park Branch Library

  St. Louis County

Duluth-Main

Ely Public Library

Hoyt Lakes Public Library

McKinley Public Library

Mount Royal Branch Library

West Duluth Branch Library

  Todd County

Eagle Bend Public Library

Long Prairie Branch Library

Staples Public Library

  Wadena County

  Wadena Public Library

  Winona County

Winona Public Library

  Wright County

Annandale Branch Library

  Yellow Medicine County

Granite Falls Public Library