Jenny Levine has a blog posting on a grant proposal she and others are writing. The grant:
Basically, it offers every library in Illinois a chance to enhance its website and services with blogs, RSS, and instant messaging in an effort to level the web-based playing field in the State.
She goes to say:
Even though it seems to some of us like blogging, RSS, and IM have been around forever and most libraries have adopted these tools, the truth is that the overwhelming number of libraries in this country, let alone in Illinois, have yet to make that leap. This grant will give them the tools (and will take into account hosting the software on servers installed regionally), training at their own institution, website templates designed by usability experts, and tons of documentation (best practices, sample policies, PR materials, and more). Year one will include pilot projects to create, tweak, and finalize everything before the toolkit is rolled out to all libraries (of all types) that want to participate in year two. Illinois libraries will be able to pick and choose which pieces they want to implement, but for the majority of our libraries (which are smaller institutions), this should jumpstart them towards a web-based presence that is more usable for patrons, more efficient for staff to update, and more shifted to go where their users are. In other words, it should help them start down the path to Library 2.0 faster and in ways they otherwise can't pursue on their own due to lack of staff, time, and resources.
Let's hope that she and her colleagues get this grant and that they build something that other states/regions will consider imitating.