Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Illinois Public Libraries Illinois State Library

Purpose and Goals

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Illinois Public Libraries offering provides Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to support the role of public libraries in their efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus(COVID-19) pandemic.

As libraries reopen, the safety of staff and patrons is an ongoing concern. Restoration of in-person services requires adherence to guidelines regarding social distancing, use of protective equipment, proper sanitation and disinfecting common and high-traffic areas.

To assist libraries in addressing the unforeseen consequences of COVID-19, public library agencies may apply for up to $500 per eligible public library building to address the proper handling of library materials and to purchase PPE to ensure the safety of staff and patrons. Applications are due September 30, 2020.

Expected Outcome

Per the CARES Act Legislation, include this outcome under question 14 of the application as well as any additional outcomes specific to your program: "to improve the library's efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19."

Eligibility Information

Eligible Activities

PPE and/or supplies and services to clean and sanitize the library.

Ineligible Activities include but are not limited to:

Award Information and Funding Source

A library agency request up to $500 per eligible public library building. For example, a public library with a main library and two branches (3 outlets x $500) may request up to $1,500.

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. The library may claim reimbursement of allowable PPE expenses from July 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

Cares Act funds were provided to the Illinois State Library from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for coronavirus response. IMLS Announces New Stimulus Funding for Communities Across America.


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 to support the role of public libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic:
     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 heading.

Question 12, Target Audience and Need: The urgent need for grant funds is strengthened by data:

Question 14b, the method(s), activity(s) or services(s) to achieve the outcome "to improve the library's efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19" might include but are not limited to:

Successful applications will elaborate on the details of their proposed method(s), activity(s) or service(s) in the Project Description, Question 11. Many online sources provide guidance:

Application Guidelines

Application and Reporting Forms

Review Process

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

Only complete applications from eligible 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. A summary of the reviewer's comments will be shared with the applicant.


Date Activity
September 30, 2020 Applications due
November 1, 2020 Applicants reviewed and award letters issued
January 15, 2021 Quarterly Financial and Narrative Report due requesting reimbursement for PPE expenses July 1 to December 31, 2020. The library must spend local funds first, and then request reimbursement.
February 15, 2021 Encumbrance Report due documenting the disbursement of funds obligated at December 31 (if applicable).

Legal Authority

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


For more information, please contact the Illinois State Library, Library Development Group at 217-524-8836; 800-665-5576 ext. 2, or by email to