Digital Network Access for Illinois Libraries Illinois State Library


Purpose  •  Expected Outcome  •  Eligibility  •  Award Information  •  Requirements  •  Application Guidelines  •  Forms  •  Review Process  •  Timeline  •  Legal Authority  •  Questions

Purpose

The Digital Network Access for Illinois Libraries offering provides Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant funds to support the role of libraries in responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by expanding digital network access.

To assist libraries in addressing the unforeseen consequences of COVID-19, public libraries, school libraries and community colleges are invited to apply for up to $10,000 to establish or expand the library’s digital network access; e.g., upgrade the library’s Wi-Fi or extend the library’s internet service for broader access. One application will be accepted per agency, and applications are due September 30, 2020.

Students displaced by COVID-19 and disadvantaged library patrons may not have reliable internet options to connect to remote learning or to access online library services and information. The State Library anticipates that distance education will be an ongoing need in the coming academic year for our state. In addition, virtual networking, working remotely and requests for discovering information online may increase. This can only be accomplished if Illinois residents have dependable access to the internet.

This offering is not intended for circulating Wi-Fi devices for home internet use. Rather, this offering improves the capacity of libraries, especially in areas of high need, to provide reliable internet and therefore extend the library’s digital network access.

Expected Outcome

This grant offering is a specific response to digital inequity as Illinois residents without reliable internet service struggle to participate in online education and access essential virtual services. Its purpose is to position libraries to meet the challenges that dictate increased Internet use.

Eligibility Information

Eligible Activities that expand or enhance the library's digital network include:

Ineligible Activities and associated costs include but are not limited to:

Award Information and Funding Source

Requests up to $10,000 will be considered.

The grant award will be paid as a reimbursement. An agency is required to first appropriately disburse local funds per the approved application then submit documentation to receive reimbursement. Release of award funds will be authorized after the submission of reports documenting proof of expenditure.

CARES Act funding was provided from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Illinois State Library to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including to expand digital network access, purchase internet accessible devices, and provide technical support services. IMLS Announces New Stimulus Funding for Communities Across America.

Program Requirements

Use of CARE Act funds and therefore all activities under this offering align with Illinois' Long Range Plan for the Use of Library Services and Technology Act Funds 2018-2022:
     Goal 1: to position the Illinois library community to extend library services for all Illinois residents by providing access to information and ideas.

When submitting the application:
Question 8, Select One Primary Purpose: Successful applicants will check "Provide access to information, ideas and diverse resources, whether virtual or tangible."

Question 9, Select One Intent: Successful applicants will check "improve library operations" which is listed under the Institutional Capacity.

Question 10, Administrative Capacity: Include a statement confirming if the library does or does not have Internet safety policies and technology protection measures in place to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act.

Question 12, Target Audience and Need: To reflect the priorities outlined in the CARES Act legislation, the first priority for funding is to provide services for high needs communities. Applicants should illustrate local need using the following types of economic and access indicators:

Question 14, Outcomes. Include one or more of these outcomes as well as any additional outcomes specific to your program.

Question 14 b, the method(s), activity(s) or service(s) to achieve the outcome, with details in the Project Description, might include but are not limited to:

Application Guidelines

Application and Reporting Forms

Review Process

Grants are awarded by the Secretary of State based on recommendations received from a Grant Review Committee following its review process.

Only complete applications from eligible library agencies will be considered for funding. Each application must stand on its own merit and is evaluated based on the information provided in the application.

In addition to the evaluation of the application content, meeting the criteria for library agencies eligible to apply, and the recommendations of the Review Committee, additional factors taken into consideration include:

Only the awarded grant applications shall be considered public information. Working papers, individual reviewer's comments, notes, and scores are not public information.

Timeline

Date Activity
September 30, 2020 Applications due
November 1, 2020 Target date for announcement of grant awards
December 1, 2020 Grant funded activities begin
April 15, 2021

Quarterly Financial and Narrative Report due

Request reimbursement of funds disbursed during the quarter

July 15, 2021

Quarterly Financial and Narrative Report due

Request reimbursement of funds disbursed during the quarter

September 30, 2021 Grant funded activities conclude

All grant funds must be disbursed or obligated/encumbered

October 15, 2021 Quarterly Financial and Narrative Report due

Request reimbursement of funds disbursed during the quarter.

November 15, 2021 Encumbrance Report due documenting the disbursement of funds obligated at September 30. Request final payment (if applicable)

Legal Authority

Awarded applicants will be required to certify adherence to applicable laws.

Questions

For more information about the FY2021 CARES Act Grant, please contact the Illinois State Library, Library Development Group at 217-524-8836; 800-665-5576 ext. 2, or by email to isl_grants@ilsos.gov.