SARL ILA Annual Conference Grant


The purpose of this grant is to encourage ILA membership and attendance at the Illinois Library Association Annual Conference by small or rural library workers. Presented by the ILA Small and Rural Libraries Forum (SARL), administered by ILA and sponsored by Fast Forward Libraries, LLC. 


Fast Forward Libraries LLC was founded by Illinois librarian Amanda Standerfer to help libraries have a greater impact in their communities through capacity building and strategic planning. Amanda is incredibly passionate about small, rural public libraries in Illinois - the place many people turn to for connection, learning, and information. Truly, these libraries are the hearts of the communities they serve!   


The SARL Forum is offering two $1,000 grants to offset the cost of attending the 2024 ILA Annual Conference.The grants, funded by Fast Forward Libraries LLC, covers registration and expenses for the ILA Annual Conference, not to exceed $1,000 per award recipient.

Criteria and Eligibility

  • Applicants must be personal members of ILA or staff/board members at an ILA institutional member library.
  • The applicant's library must be a public library member of RAILS or IHLS.
  • The applicant's library must serve a population of less than 8,000 people in a rural area. Preference is given to libraries serving under 5,000 people in a rural area.
  • The staff member applying must be a paid staff member. If the staff member applying is not the Library Director, a brief email of support from the Library Director is required.
  • Board members may also apply.
  • Preference is given to board/staff members who have never attended the ILA Annual Conference and have not received the grant in the past.
  • Only one grant per library will be awarded.

Recipient and affiliated library names may be used in publicity related to the grant. Grant recipients will be required to provide a brief post-conference essay highlighting the benefits they received from the conference.The recipients agree that this summary may be published in the ILA Reporter and may be used for future grant promotional materials.

Deadline to submit a grant application: Monday, July 15, 2024 by 5 pm. 

Applicants will be notified of the results via email by August 1. 

Submit an application for the SARL ILA Annual Conference Grant

Note: If you are submitting an application for this grant, please do not register for the ILA Annual Conference until you receive a notification about your grant status by ILA. If you decide to register anyway, please use the bill me later option so that if you have been selected as a grant recipient, we can apply the funding towards your registration. 

If you have any questions, please email

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