On the Road to Recovery: Transforming Library Spaces Illinois State Library


Applications are due August 15, 2021.
Requests ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 per library building or branch location will be considered, with one application accepted per agency.

Purpose and Goals

The On the Road to Recovery: Transforming Library Spaces grant offering provides funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) for emergency relief and support to 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.

Many Illinois libraries have been operating at limited capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic, some having to close entirely. Now more than ever, communities need access to the resources available within their local library. But, as libraries reopen, the safety of staff and patrons is an ongoing concern. Restoration of in-person services may require adherence to guidelines regarding social distancing, mask-wearing, proper sanitation, and disinfecting common and high-traffic areas.

What was learned as a result of the pandemic? How does this impact the library’s capacity as operations are adjusted and spaces are modified? Some libraries may find that they need to create new barriers, purchase public computer keyboards that can be sanitized, or provide masks and gloves for staff and patrons, while others may need to update their computer labs with new desktop computers and printers. In the event that there is another pandemic-related outbreak or shut down, and in order to serve patrons who do not yet feel comfortable being in public, this grant could expand libraries’ capacity to restore in-house programs or provide technology necessary to create hybrid or virtual programs

The goal of the On the Road to Recovery: Transforming Library Spaces grant offering is to prioritize health and safety while taking progressive steps that best fit individual reopening plans and restore regular library operations. Grant applications demonstrating hardship or high need will be given priority.

Allowable/Unallowable Costs

All items proposed for purchase must be clearly justified as advancing or keeping library services operational or support the library’s ongoing, in-house programming. With proper justification, allowable activities and expenses that expand or enhance the library’s capacity to respond to and recover from the pandemic may include but are not limited to:

Examples of activities and expenses that will not be funded include:

Eligibility

Outcomes

This grant offering is specifically for emergency relief and support as library spaces are modified in response to and recovery from the pandemic.

Award Information and Funding Source

Requests ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 per library building or branch location will be considered, with one application accepted per agency.

The grant award will be paid as a reimbursement. An agency is required to first appropriately disburse local funds per the approved application and then submit documentation to receive reimbursement. Release of award funds will be authorized after the submission of reports documenting proof of expenditure. The library may claim reimbursement of allowable expenses from October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022. Costs incurred prior to October 1, 2021 are not eligible for reimbursement.

ARPA funds were awarded to the Illinois State Library from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to help libraries respond to and recover from pandemic-related losses in resources and services. Federal Government Invests $200M in Libraries and Museums to Stimulate American Communities

Application Guidelines

Application and Reporting Forms

Review Process

Grants are awarded by the Secretary of State/Illinois State Librarian 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 will be evaluated based on the information provided in the application.

The need for grant funds and libraries’ efforts to support an identified target audience may be strengthened by local unemployment rates, poverty levels or related data. The following types of local data, among others, can confirm efforts to reach underserved populations:

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 that may be taken into consideration include but are not limited to:

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
October 1, 2021 Grant-funded activities begin
January 15, 2022 Quarterly Financial and Narrative Report due Request reimbursement of funds disbursed during the quarter
April 15, 2022 Quarterly Financial and Narrative Report due Request reimbursement of funds disbursed during the quarter
July 15, 2022 Quarterly Financial and Narrative Report due Request reimbursement of funds disbursed during the quarte
September 30, 2022 Grant-funded activities conclude All grant funds must be disbursed or obligated/encumbered
October 15, 2022 Quarterly Financial and Narrative Report due Request reimbursement of funds disbursed during the quarter
November 15, 2022 Encumbrance Report due documenting the disbursement of funds obligated at September 30. Request final payment (if applicable)

Legal Authority

Awarded applicants are required to certify adherence to applicable laws.

Use of ARPA 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.

Projects funded should include this credit line in all grant products, publications, and websites developed:
Funding for this grant was awarded by the Illinois State Library, a Department of the Office of Secretary of State, using funds provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

Questions

For more information about On the Road to Recovery: Transforming Library Spaces, please contact the Illinois State Library, Library Development Group by email isl_grants@ilsos.gov or by telephone 217-524-8836 or 800-665-5576 ext.2.