A foundation financed with money from Microsoft founder Bill Gates is giving over $400,000 worth of grants to 71 Iowa libraries. Sandy Dixon, program director for library development at the State Library of Iowa, says the money will be used to purchase computers that will be available for public use.
"Libraries have evolved into organizations that provide a lot more than books," Dixon says. "…There are many people who rely on the computers in public libraries because they don’t have them at home." The 71 Iowa libraries must match the Gates grant amount. Dixon says most of the libraries will be buying one or two computers.
Burlington’s library will be buying the most — 13. Dixon says library computers provide a valuable link for Iowans who cannot afford their own computer, but need to do something on-line.