The Internet Public Library at the University of Michigan Awarded $200,000 Grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation



Schelle Simcox
School of Information
University of Michigan
550 East University
Ann Arbor, MI

June 13, 1996

ANN ARBOR, MI., June 13, 1996--The Internet Public Library (IPL), a project from the University of Michigan, School of Information announces the award of a $200,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This grant will fund the development of several projects aimed at ensuring the long-term viability of the Library by giving it a steady and sustainable revenue stream. The first of the projects funded by the grant are as follows:

  • Organizing an Internet Library Consortium; in exchange for dues from member libraries and help with distributed library operations, the IPL will share its expertise in presenting librarians and patrons with a coherent view of the Internet.
  • Publishing "WebINK : Internet Newsletter for Kids" focusing on fun and educational resources on the Internet. The premier issue will appear July 5, 1996, and will highlight the Summer Olympics.
  • Establishing a professional Internet research service, building on the experience gained in operating the IPL reference desk. Patrons who have need of more in-depth research than the reference desk can provide will be able to purchase these services from the IPL.
  • Establishing a "Friends of the Library" organization to attract support from the general public.

The Internet Public Library is the first of its kind, an organization that provides a mixture of traditional and innovative library services via the Internet. A major goal of the Library is to support and complement existing public libraries, by providing easy access to high quality library services and Internet resources. Services available through the IPL include stories for children, college advice for teens, a comprehensive list of online texts, and a highly acclaimed ready-reference collection. The Library is staffed by experienced librarians, with the assistance of students from the School of Information at the University of Michigan.

Founded in 1995 by graduate students at the University of Michigan, School of Information, the IPL has grown by leaps and bounds to become one of the premier sites on the Internet. At least 5000 visitors "walk through the doors" each day, for a total of over 1.5 million visits so far. The IPL has a truly international patronage, having been visited from 108 different countries.