- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

SEATTLE (AP) - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $5 million to help libraries serve more people during the economic downturn, starting with communities in Iowa and Georgia.

The grant announced Tuesday would help libraries raise public awareness about their financial needs and help them raise money.

The foundation says the new program will begin this summer. Other communities will be announced later this year.

Jill Nishi of the Gates Foundation says there has never been a more important time to highlight the importance of libraries in helping people look for work and gain access to government services.

The fundraising and awareness campaigns will be designed by Chicago’s Leo Burnett advertising agency.

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