Byline: Mary Jo Przygoda Daily Herald Staff Writer
Several Lake County libraries are among 15 North suburban libraries to share thousands of dollars in state grants to computerize historical records and update technology.
The grants are part of the state's Educate and Automate Program to assist libraries. The program is funded through license plate fees.
The Grayslake, Lake Villa, and Ela public libraries each will receive about $4,500 in equipment to computerize historical records. The total grant is about $100,000, which will be split among 15 libraries.
Cook Memorial Library and two Mundelein school libraries - Carl Sandburg Elementary and St. Mary of the Lake's Freehan Memorial Library - will receive grants for technology updates.
"We are particularly thrilled to receive this grant because we do not even have microfilm records," said Roberta Thomas, administrative librarian for the Grayslake library.
"We're skipping the microfilm stage and going right to computers," she said.
The library has 10 years of local newspapers stacked on shelves, but they are not indexed, she said.
If patrons want a particular article, they need to know the exact date it was printed, said Larry Howell, automated systems manager for the Grayslake library.
"Even at that, the newspapers are so fragile, they are difficult to use," he said.
In addition to the library's collection, the Grayslake Historical Society has newspapers going back 20 years, which also are not indexed. …