Grand Rapids Public Library wins grant to ‘preserve web materials’


Grand Rapids Public Library's Main Library is located in the heart of downtown. Photo via

The Grand Rapids Public Library has received a grant to archive local historical content that’s online.

Starting this fall, the Institute of Museum and Library Services is giving the Grand Rapids Public Library, or GRPL, $25,000 for five years.

GRPL said last month it is the only library system in Michigan and one of 28 libraries in the country to have received the grant for the Community Webs project.

The grant will be used to protect local digital "history collections" on platforms such as blogs, news sites and social media.

The "average span of web content" is 90 days, according to GRPL.

“It’s easy to take what’s online for granted and to think that it will always be there but it won’t,” said Julie Tabberer, head of the GRPL Grand Rapids History and Special Collections Department.

GRPL will also receive $3,500 per year to attend meetings and participate in trainings, workshops, conferences and professional development.

“We’re looking ahead and thinking about what people 20 or 50 years from now will want to know about what is happening in Grand Rapids in 2017,” Tabberer said. “Capturing online content is vitally important for preserving and telling our community’s story.”

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