Jesiel Joins Secretary White for Presentation of $19,000 Grant to Zion-Benton Public Library

ZION-BENTON – State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R – Winthrop Harbor) joined Secretary of State Jesse White, and numerous other state and local officials, at a ceremony to award the Zion-Benton Public Library with a Public Library Construction Act Grant for more than $19,000 to repair flood damage to the library’s computer systems.

“I’m so honored that one of my first official duties as State Representative is to be on hand for the presentation of this grant that supports our local library in the Zion, Winthrop Harbor, and Beach Park communities,” said Jesiel. “I would like to thank Secretary White, and his office, for his efforts to make this grant possible and help support access to essential education services.”

In September 2013, a pump on an air conditioning unit failed, flooding the room responsible for control of the library’s computer system and network. The damage disabled essential services such as the online catalog, circulation system, web site, email communications, and operations’ functions.

“I am pleased to award this grant to ensure that residents of Beach Park, Winthrop Harbor, and Zion can continue to enjoy all the resources their local library can provide,” said White. “This funding allows patrons to use technology, an invaluable tool in the operations of the library.”

Nann Blaine Hilyard played a major role in working with the Secretary of State’s office to secure the grant. Securing the funding was one of Hilyard’s last official acts as the library’s director after forty years of distinguished service and she was also honored at the ceremony.

“Nann has been a wonderful steward to the library for so many years, how fitting that one of her last efforts was to help secure a grant that will keep the library in good stead for years to come,” said Jesiel. “I remember going to the old library at the lagoon as a child and I’m so pleased to see my own daughter bringing her children to this very library today; without the work of Nann, and others like her, this fantastic facility wouldn’t be here today.”

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