Legislative Update -- July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

Grant funding isn't *exactly* legislative, except for the underlying legislation that authorizes its appropriations for which we are continually advocating. Today we're pleased to share information from the Illinois State Library about American Rescue Plan-funded grant opportunities. View information on ARPA funds for Illinois libraries on the ILA website.

Please note: In response to several recent queries, to our best understanding, libraries ARE eligible to apply for all the funding sources ILA is monitoring--a library should NOT need to be a 501(c)3 organization and should NOT need a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor. If there are questions about eligibility for a particular opportunity, it is best to contact the granting agency itself, although of course, ILA is here to answer questions as we are able.

From the Illinois State Library:
The Secretary of State/Illinois State Library is pleased to announce three new competitive grant offerings available to public libraries and academic libraries. Applications are due August 15, 2021.

Grants will be awarded using funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). Please refer to the individual offering for details.

1. The Bouncing Back from the Pandemic: Developing Resources for the Local Workforce grant offering supports public and academic libraries in providing essential resources and services so job seekers can access employment services and training to build the necessary skills to become job ready. Libraries may also establish and design workforce recovery programming and services that will impact the intended target audience.  Public library and academic library agencies may apply for $5,000 to $50,000 to expand the library’s employment related resources and services.

2. The Expanding Digital Inclusion: Transforming Library Services grant offering focuses on devices and technologies that circulate to meet the needs of an identified target audience in response to and recovery from the pandemic. Academic, public, school and special libraries are encouraged to reach patrons with enhanced digital inclusion efforts focused on circulating internet hotspots, laptops, and other devices to help patrons recover from the pandemic. This offering is NOT for books or electronic resources. Requests ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 per library building or branch location will be considered, with one application accepted per agency.

3. The On the Road to Recovery: Transforming Library Spaces grant offering provides funds for emergency relief and support to academic, public, school and special libraries as library spaces are modified in response to and recovery from the pandemic. This offering focuses on restoring the library’s capacity to operate and creating clean, safe spaces in the library for patrons during and after reopening. The goal is to prioritize health and safety while taking progressive steps that best fit individual reopening plans and restore regular library operations.  Requests ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 per library building or branch location will be considered, with one application accepted per agency.

Awards will be paid based on reimbursement. If you have questions, contact the Illinois State Library, Library Development Group at isl_grants@ilsos.gov (note the underscore between isl_grants) or by phone 217-524-8836 or 800-665-5576 ext. 2. 

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