Public Library Construction Act Grant Program Overview and Forms Illinois State Library
This grant program assists public libraries with construction costs in their facilities. The grant awards for eligible libraries will be determined by multiplying the library's Grant Index by the construction project's recognized eligible project costs. The Illinois State Library will calculate each library's Grant Index using a mathematical formula found in the legislation that created the program; Grant Index figures will be posted on the State Library's website. The State Library will verify the eligible construction costs to be funded by state funds, and notify the applying library of its local share of the construction project.
No appropriation has been made at this time.
Application and Forms
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Self-Evaluation
- Contract Agreement
- Grant Index
- Instructions for Completing Fillable Grant Forms
- Library Data Entry Guidelines
- A public library must be a full member of a regional library system, have a bibliographically organized collection, permit intrasystem reciprocal borrowing, and meet the eligibility criteria to qualify for an Illinois Public Library Per Capita and Equalization Aid Grant.
- Libraries may not apply for both a Public Library Construction Act Grant and a Live and Learn Construction Grant in the same award year.
- Neither construction nor the letting of competitive bids for construction may commence before a grant award contract has been executed.
Priority ranking for construction grant projects shall be assigned if the funds available for any fiscal year are insufficient to fund grants for all eligible applicants. In this case, an eligible public library construction project shall be qualified for a construction grant award based on the following priority ranking order:
- Replacement or reconstruction of a public library facility that has been destroyed or damaged by flood, tornado, fire, earthquake or other disasters, either man-made or produced by nature.
- Projects that are designed to address population growth or to replace aging public library facilities.
- Replacement or reconstruction of public library facilities determined to be severe and continuing health or life safety hazards.
- Alterations necessary to provide accessibility for qualified individuals with disabilities.
- Other unique solutions to facility needs.
The State Library will determine a library's ranking within its level of priority by using the criteria listed in the administrative rules [23 Ill. Adm. Code 3035.525].
- To qualify for and be eligible for a public library construction grant, public libraries must apply to the State librarian for public library construction project grants on the forms prepared and made available for this purpose and be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15.
- The application shall be reviewed by the State Library for completeness and compliance with law and rules. The State Library may request additional information or clarification.
- When grant eligibility has been determined for a public library construction project, the State Librarian shall notify the public library of the State's share of the public library construction project and the dollar amount that the public library will be required to finance with non-grant funds in order to qualify to receive a public library construction project grant. The State Librarian shall thereafter determine whether a grant will be made.
- Eligible libraries are qualified for a library construction project grant, but are not guaranteed receipt of a grant.
- Proof of local cost share will be required by the State Librarian prior to a grant award. Proof shall be provided, at the latest, within 90 days after a successful referendum. A public library failing to have access to the local share of funds within the time period shall be reprioritized and must update its application to establish its priority ranking for the following fiscal year.
- Grant awards will be issued in accordance with the State Librarian's priority ranking.
- If a public library has been determined eligible for a public library construction project, has arranged and approved all local financing, and is eligible to receive a public library construction project grant award in a any fiscal year, but does not receive the award in that year due to lack of adequate appropriations, those public library construction projects shall continue to be considered for grant awards for the following fiscal year.
- Each public library that is determined to be eligible shall annually update its public library facilities plan and submit the revised plan to the State Librarian for approval.
The following supporting documentation is required, when applicable, and must be submitted as Portable Document Format (PDF) attachments or on a CD-ROM/DVD and may be submitted separately from the application.
- Narrative: Consisting of no more than two pages. The applicant must explain in detail how the project addresses one or more of the five funding priorities. Explain the scope and necessity of the project. Address how the project plans to meet existing library standards as outlined in the Illinois Library Association's most recent edition of Serving Our Public. Describe the project's potential contribution to the improvement of library service in the community.
- Facilities Plan: The applicant must examine in detail the present and future public library facility needs required by present and anticipated public library programming, keeping in mind that library buildings are to be planned for a 20-year population projection. Provide a site analysis; space needs assessment and the project design (to include an elevation drawing, site plan, and floor plan for the proposed project). Address the library's ability to maintain and sustain library operations following completion of this project (i.e., building maintenance, expanded costs for utilities, staffing, maintaining a larger collection). Address how the library will provide access for the disabled. If applicable, explain in detail if the project involves addressing life safety hazards as outlined in the Administrative Rules. Provide all relevant financial documentation as it relates to the library's local cost share responsibility including funding sources, local financial resources, current revenues, fund balances, and unused bonding capacity.
- Sign-off Letter from the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office (IL SHPO): Contact IL SHPO, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois State Historic Preservation Office, Attn: Review and Compliance, 1 Old State Capitol Plaza, Springfield, Illinois 62701. Phone: 217-782-4836. For more information concerning the IL SHPO requirements please visit:
- https://www2.illinois.gov/dnrhistoric/preserve/pages/resource-protection.aspx (required by all applicants)
- Deed of ownership or proof of long-term (20 years) occupancy such as a lease or similar document. For any project involving the acquisition of real estate, a legal description of the proposed site and a certified appraisal of the land and any existing structures or improvements must be provided by the application deadline. No grant award will be made until a deed of ownership to the proposed site is submitted to the State Library.
- Americans with Disabilities Act Self-Evaluation: Most recent copy completed by the library (not required for new construction projects).
- Special Flood Hazard Area Documentation: Applicants must provide documentation stating whether the project site is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area found at the Illinois State Water Survey's Illinois Floodplain Map website at http://www.illinoisfloodmaps.org/. If the project site is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, the applicant shall submit an assurance letter from the Division of Water Resources of the Department of Natural Resources stating that the project meet the requirements of Executive Order 2006-5 regarding flood damages (only required for new construction, additions, or projects involving the evacuation of soil).
- Subsurface soil analysis: a subsurface soil analysis by a soil engineer when enlarging an existing building, constructing a new building, or when the project involves evacuation of soil. This document may be submitted after the library has acquired the proposed building site (only required for new construction, additions, or projects involving the evacuation of soil).
- Environmental Site Assessment: A site assessment by a licensed environmental/hazardous materials consultant to determine the existence of asbestos and/or lead paint, if applicable. This document may be submitted after the library has acquired the proposed building site (only required for new construction, additions, or projects involving the evacuation of soil).
The Illinois State Library does not make recommendations for contractors, engineers, architects or building consultants. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
The State Library has established the maximum acceptable cost of the eligible expenditures in which grant funds may be expended.
- New Facility and/or Addition to include design fees and fixed equipment – a maximum of $225 per square foot.
- Remodeling/Renovation to include design fees and fixed equipment– a maximum of $140 per square foot.
In addition, the maximum acceptable costs for the following project components are as follows:
- Furniture and Movable Equipment – $35 per square foot.
Site acquisition and site improvement costs are in addition to the unit costs listed above. Any costs over and above the acceptable eligible costs will be the responsibility of the grantee.
Project costs that grant funds may be expended on include but are not limited to:
- Buildings constructed to the five foot line.
- Design and construction contingencies to include architect and engineering fees.
- Building fixed equipment.
- Site improvements, including related architectural/engineering fees and reimbursements.
- Land acquisitions and associated legal and other fees.
- Durable movable equipment.
- Utilities including service lines, both on-site and off-site.
- Special foundation construction and related architectural/engineering fees deemed necessary as a result of unusual sub-surface soil conditions.
- The cost of a Library Building Consultant.
- Joint use facilities (funding may only be used for the library portion of the project).
- Off-site improvements only if they directly impact the facility.
- Remodeling and/or rehabilitation costs.
- Technology expenditures.
- Planning expenditures related to the public library facilities plan.
- Maintenance and upkeep expenditures made beyond the regular, normal repair of physical properties.
Project costs that must be paid for with non-grant funds include but are not limited to:
- On-going operations costs.
- Administrative offices or other support services outside of a facility that provide direct on-site services to library users.
- Facilities intended for commercial use by profit making organizations.
- Square footage designated for food service in which a fee is charged.
- Land acquisition costs for land that was or will be donated to the library; or land that is already owned by the library or its corporate authority and will be the site of new construction or an addition to an existing facility.
- Storage facilities.
- Lawn sprinkling systems.
- Exterior commons area, such as paved sitting areas, or benches.
- Traffic signals at intersections.
- Landscaping in excess of seeding costs.
- Off-site access roads.
- Library books, maps and paintings other than those purchased in the Art-in-Architecture Program.
- Spare and replacement parts and any other commodities.
- Expenditures for leasing or rental of equipment and/or facilities.
- Archaeological digs, research or exploration.
- Acquisition or construction of temporary facilities.
- Unpredictable or unusual legal expenses.
- Separate purchases of sand, gravel, rock, asphalt and concrete in limited quantities.
- Temporary, nondurable fencing.
- Hand tools.
- Decorative models and other commemorative memorabilia.
- Consumable commodities that have a relatively brief expected useful life.
- Expenditures for general long-range development plans.
- Landscaping improvements that are not directly associated with the capital improvement project.
A complete list and associated explanations of all eligible grant and non-grant project costs can be found in the administrative rules [23 Ill. Adm. Code 3035. Subpart E].
Additional Grant Requirements
- Any library receiving funds for construction related activities are subject to the Employment of Illinois Workers on Public Works Act [30 ILCS 570/0.01 et seq.].
- Any library receiving a grant of $250,000 or more under this grant program for capital construction costs or professional services must certify that they will comply with the business enterprise program of the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities Act [30 ILCS 575] and the equal employment practices of Section 2-105 of the Illinois Human Rights Act [775 ILCS 5/2-105].
- For projects with a total cost equal to or greater than $75,000, an architect or engineer licensed to practice in Illinois is required. Selection of the architect or engineer must be in accordance with the Local Government Professional Services Selection Act [50 ILCS 510].
No reappropriation for this program has occurred since the initial FY 2013 appropriation.Number of Applications Received
- 48 public libraries requested $112,164,283
- $50,000,000 to date
- List of FY 2013 Grant Awards
Capital Needs Assessment Survey
The Secretary of State and the State Library must file with the General Assembly a comprehensive assessment of the capital needs of all public libraries every two years. The most recent report was filed with the General Assembly in December 2017.
For more information about public library construction grants, you may call 800-665-5576, Option 2 or email email@example.com.