Project Next Generation Illinois State Library

Purpose and Outcomes

Project Next Generation (PNG) grant projects encourage personal growth and the educational development of at risk students through the use of mentors, technology and library based group projects. The goal of PNG is to bridge the digital divide by making recent technologies accessible to students who have limited access to computers. In a similar manner, the program strives to provide a safe and friendly environment filled with positive role models. The mentors involved with the program foster the development of self-confidence and pride in their students by helping them gain technical knowledge necessary for future educational and professional success.

The Illinois State Library funds PNG grants that result in the following outcomes:

Targeted Program Participants

Application and Reporting Forms

PNG grant applications are being offered in advance of the provision of the state budget for fiscal year 2018. The Illinois State Library makes these grant applications available so that award notification may be released when legislative and gubernatorial approval of an FY2018 appropriation is made. Obligations to fund this grant program will cease immediately without penalty or further payment being required if the Illinois General Assembly or the federal funding source fails to appropriate or otherwise make available sufficient funds.

Eligible Applicants

Program Requirements

Among other technology projects, the PNG grant proposal must include programming or activities that involve the Illinois Veterans History Project. The Illinois Veterans History Project was launched by Secretary of State Jesse White to create a permanent record of the names and stories of Illinois war veterans and civilians who served our state and country during war, so that their contributions will not be forgotten.

Within PNG technology projects, the Illinois Veterans History Project will be an intergenerational initiative. Students will conduct and record veteran interviews for inclusion in the Illinois Veterans History Project and/or the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Supplies and materials needed to complete PNG and Illinois Veterans History projects must be included in the grant proposal. Outcomes in the grant application must describe the intended results from PNG and the Illinois Veterans History Project.

Informational Webinar

Veterans History Project Resources

Supporting Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant Documentation

Range of Award

Legal Authority

Program Impact in FY2017

Total Dollars Awarded Number of Grants Awarded Number of People Served in FY2016


PNG is an important part of our programming. PNG is an opportunity for 5th–8th graders to come to the library, have fun and learn something new about technology along the way. Boys and girls experience new technologies and software that they can use while building their future. We often try to incorporate free software, where they can get started at the library, and excel in their homes. At home, they share their learned skills with friends and families. PNG builds confidence and creates a social network where kids from various schools have a chance to come together and create lasting friendships. -- Mentor for PNG

PNG provides minority and low-income middle school students with opportunities to develop computer skills and self-confidence by using the newest computer technologies, such as digital cameras, scanners, and projects, as well as, many dynamic software packages. Through various projects, such as interviewing each other and creating personal profiles, the students develop a team concept of working together. -- Mentor for PNG

PNG brings weekly programming with a technological theme to students in grades 3–12, with the main focus on students in sixth though ninth grades. The program also gives the children an opportunity to become more familiar with technology, which has become more prevalent in today’s society. If not for PNG, the children may not otherwise have the chance to use the new Technology (i.e. using an eReader). Not only does this program help the youth in our community adapt to today’s technological society, but also it allows them the opportunity to be a contributor to society and to use technology in a positive, responsible, and productive manner. -- Mentor for PNG

What kids say about PNG

For more information, please call 217-782-7749 or visit the Project Next Generation website.

Project Next Generation is funded in part using Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant funds provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.